Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, Columbus Laboratory at Night
Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, Columbus Laboratory at Night
  • by Dan Yoo (daniel@koreaittimes.com)
  • 승인 2018.01.03 02:20
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Columbus laboratory at night(Credit:ESA/NASA)

The lights in the laboratory are dimmed to a pinkish glow during the crew’s off-duty time. Columbus houses NASA’s Veggie greenhouse, where researchers are growing lettuce in weightlessness. Previous experiments showed that red light is best for growing plants in space.

Veggie is already a favourite experiment for astronauts because it offers fresh food at the end of a harvest. Learning how to grow food in space is essential for longer trips further from Earth.

Nearly a decade ago, the Columbus laboratory set sail to become Europe’s largest single contribution to the International Space Station. Shortly after, the first Automated Transfer Vehicle – the most complex spacecraft ever built in Europe – arrived at the orbital outpost.

There is a lot to celebrate in 2018: the 10th anniversary of the Columbus laboratory and the Automated Transfer Vehicle series, plus Alexander’s second mission to the Space Station.

He will be launched in June on Soyuz MS-09 together with NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev. He will fulfil the role of commander during the second part of his six-month.

This is the second time a European astronaut will be commander of the Station – the first was Frank De Winne in 2009.


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