12 February 2007 – Europe’s space laboratory Columbus is in space: it successfully docked to the ISS on Monday 11 February. The module was built by Airbus Defence and Space for the European Space Agency ESA.
Columbus was lifted out of its cargo bay and docked to the station. The two ESA astronauts Rex Walheim and Stanley Love connected Columbus to the station and started its operation.
With a length of 8 metres, a diameter of 4.5 metres and a weight of about 13 tons, the Columbus multi-purpose laboratory is one of Europe’s cornerstone contributions to the ISS along with the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). It is equipped with its own life support system and provides room for three scientific astronauts who will carry out experiments and tasks in a variety of basic research disciplines. The space laboratory is now part of the ISS and is designed for a minimum service life of ten years. As ESA’s prime contractor, Airbus Defence and Space has successfully coordinated 14 different nations in the course of the programme.
Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2006, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €3.2 billion and 12,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, and Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment, and its wholly owned subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space for the development and delivery of satellite services.
AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2006, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €39.4 billion and employed a workforce of more than 116, 000.
Airbus Defence and Space (UK) Jeremy Close + 44 1 43 8 77 38 72
Airbus Defence and Space (GER) Mathias Pikelj + 49 7545 891 23
Airbus Defence and Space (SP) Francisco Lechon + 34 (0) 91 586 37 41