International Space Station

In partnership with the United States, Russia, Japan and Canada, Europe is sharing in the greatest international project of all time - the International Space Station. The 360-tonne International Space Station has more than 820 cubic metres of pressurised space - enough room for its crew of six persons and a vast array of scientific experiments.

Station construction began in November 1998 with the launch of Russia’s Zarya module. Assembly was delayed due to the tragic loss of Space Shuttle Columbia, which also resulted in the decision to retire all Space Shuttles after completion of the Station. The last major part of the Space Station delivered by a Space Shuttle was the AMS-02 (Advanced Magnetic Spectrometer) instrument in May 2011, one more pressurised module is planned to be attached to the Station in the future: Russia’s Nauka Multipurpose.

ESA is responsible for two key Station elements: the European Columbus laboratory and the Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV). The Columbus laboratory forms a substantial part of the Station's research capability. Fitted with ten interchangeable payload racks, Columbus is a multifunction laboratory that specialises in research in fluid physics, materials science and life sciences. It flies since February 2008 carrying both pressurized and external ESA payloads.

type width length height weight start end days
Space Station 74.0 110.0 30.0 360000.0 November 20, 1998 December 06, 2021 6655


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ZSCDF : extract from Space Life Science Product Catalog (Astrium, North America)

ZSCDF shall allow the investigation of aggregation processes in liquids, especially the formation of porous silicas from Ordered Liquid Phases (OLP).

Investigation of formation of porous silicates in presence of organic molecule

The goal is to improve insight into the molecular mechanisms of structuring of silica with the help of organic templates to enable the design and synthesis of tailor-made materials.

More info about zeolite on busoc 'past projects' page (in about us)

Applying conceptual analysis to space data

This is a cubist document .

PERICLES: a new knowledge management programme applied to SOLAR data on COLUMBUS.

PERICLES (Promoting and Enhancing the Reuse of Information throughout the Content Lifecycle exploiting Evolving Semantics) is an FP7 project started on February 2013. It aims at preserving by design large and complex data sets.

CUBIST: Semantic Business Intelligence Supporting Payload Operations

Today, in space control centre operations, much time is spent on transferring, discussing, reviewing, and copying information between the operations partners. The search and replay of operational data for the correct analysis of the on-board situation is also time-consuming. This problem is especially emphasized by the fact that many of the data stores are distributed and have different user interfaces. The current operations show an increasing need for a system providing the operator with a unified interface for fast access to information and analytics, especially during anomalous situations where time constraints are stronger. The FP7 project for Combining and Uniting Business Intelligence with Semantic Technologies (CUBIST) envisions combining Business Intelligence and Semantic technologies to aggregate various sources available to the operators, providing support in analysis and decision making on console. The CUBIST concept will be applied on the data resources of the SOLAR payload, a long-term ESA mission on the International Space Station. CUBIST allows to quickly analyze complex data patterns and to extract essential and relevant information, which is crucial in real-time space operations.

METERON end-to-end Network for Robotic Experiments: Objectives and first operations at B.USOC.

METERON an international collaboration between ESA, NASA (University of Colorado), Roskosmos and DLR. It intends to use the ISS as a test bed to simulate an orbiter around another heavenly body (for example Mars), under directives from Mission Control on Earth. Astronauts on the orbiter will project their human initiative and instinct, in realtime, onto the surface of the heavenly body (simulated by an analog site on the Earth) through robotic device(s) to perform science or engineering tasks. This type of real-time control is not possible directly from Earth due to the One Way Light Time delay in communications.

METERON operations are managed by B.USOC since December 2011 as Facility Reference Centre.

PERICLES - Promoting and Enhancing Reuse of Information throughout the Content Lifecycle taking account of Evolving Semantics

This poster paper describes the objectives, approach and use cases of the EC FP7 Integrated Project PERICLES. The project began on 1st February 2013 and runs for four years. The aim is to research and prototype solutions for digital preservation in continually evolving environments including changes in context, semantics and practices. The project addresses use cases focusing on digital art, media and science.

Continuous Training for Supporting Long-term Payload Missions

B.USOC, the Belgian User Support and Operations Centre, is the centre responsible for the operations of ESA’s SOLAR payload, which is externally accommodated on the Columbus Module and has been operating continuously since February 2008. The B.USOC operators, as all ISS ground Support Personnel have successfully followed the specific training and certification programme which guarantee the operational safety and mission success to the maximum extent. This certification programme mainly consists of the internal qualification and the successful participation of a number of European Simulations (ES) and Joint Multi-Segment Trainings (JMST), organized by ESA/EAC and NASA, respectively. The certification permits operators to execute on-console operations on a specific payload. However, a long-term and complex mission like SOLAR calls for additional, payload specific training. The B.USOC has set up an internal qualification programme for future SOLAR operators. The already certified operators receive continuous training through refresher sessions, optimisation boards, operations tools, and practical exercises. Especially during long-term missions, where payload operations are optimized continuously and become routine, the acquired skills and knowledge of the operators need to be maintained at a high level in order to achieve a successful mission. I. Introduction or the operations of the European Payloads on-board the International Space Station (ISS), ESA has adopted a decentralized infrastructure, based on the concept of the User Support and Operations Centres (USOCs). Each USOC is assigned to support the majority of tasks related to the preparation and the in-flight operations of European payloads. USOCs are generally located in national centres across Europe. The B.USOC (Belgian User Support and Operation Centre) is a USOC set up by ESA and the Belgian Science Policy Office. Within the Columbus general framework, the B.USOC is the Facility Responsible Centre (FRC) for the Solar Monitoring Observatory (SOLAR). SOLAR (Figure 1) is an integrated platform accommodating three instruments complementing each other to allow measurements of the solar spectral irradiance throughout a large part of the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) to the near infrared (IR)1,2. 1 B.USOC Training Responsible, Space Applications Services, 2 B.USOC Training Responsible, Space Applications Services, 3 B.USOC SOLAR Operator, Space Applications Services, 4 B.USOC Project Manager, B.USOC, F Figure 1:

YAMCS - A Mission Control System

In mission control centers, a major part of the ground segment is the front-end and backend software which is used to assist payload and system operators in their daily tasks. YAMCS (which stands for “Yet Another Mission Control System” and is pronounced as yams, the sweet potato) is a software package which has been created for long-term payload operations. YAMCS is currently implemented at two User Support and Operations Centres (USOCs) as an extension to ESA’s standard Mission Control System (MCS) for Columbus. This lightweight YAMCS integrates into the existing USOC architecture, fulfilling specific mission related needs that the standard MCS is not capable of.