The International Space Station (ISS) is one of the most ambitious scientific and technical projects ever undertaken in human spaceflight. It is an unprecedented international endeavour, with 10 European countries joining the United States, Japan, Canada and Russia.
Airbus is leading the European contribution to this project and was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as prime contractor for two key elements: Columbus, a multifunction space laboratory, and the ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) supply vessels that performed five successful missions to the ISS. In addition, Airbus is part of ESA's industrial operator team for the operation and utilisation of the European elements of the ISS. Airbus – among others – provides also control systems with fault tolerant computers and wireless communication systems for the ISS that astronauts use during their experiments.
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Our 'ISS balcony' provides a highly cost-and-time-efficient means to perform a space mission in low Earth orbit or to test and validate new technology in orbit.
Bart Reijnen, Airbus Defence and Space