Space Shuttle Atlantis launch set

14th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

14th December 2007, The shuttle is to bring the European-designed Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station and was originally to launch December 6, but was delayed because of problems with fuel cut-off sensor system inside the shuttle and its external fuel tank.

14th December 2007

The shuttle is to bring the European-designed Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station and was originally to launch December 6, but was delayed because of problems with fuel cut-off sensor system inside the shuttle and its external fuel tank.

The mission marks the beginning of a new chapter in international space flight that is to give Europe its first real foothold in space with the installation of the European Space Agency laboratory. Space travel has been dominated by Russia and the United States for half a century.

The ESA lab, built mostly by EADS-Astrium in Bremen, Germany, was supposed to go into operation in 2004. But when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated on re-entry into Earth's atmosphere in 2003, killing all seven astronauts on board, shuttle flights were suspended.

The 13-ton, 880-million-euro (1.3-billion-dollar) Columbus module has seven fixed racks that will accommodate experiments ranging from medical to material research - from the study of single-cell organisms and invertebrates to the basic physics of fluids.

The installation will take several spacewalks.

DPA

Subject: German news, space, Europe

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