MUSC runs two control centers, the PHILAE Control Center and the ISS Control Center for facility operations on board the International Space Station (ISS).
The control center for the comet Lander PHILAE commenced operations on March 2nd, 2004 with the successful launch of the European ROSETTA mission. Over the long period of the piggyback flight on the parent probe ROSETTA and for the comet landing foreseen to be in 2014, the PHILAE Control Center (LCC) is responsible for the operation of the Lander. After PHILAE lands on the comet surface, LCC will support the scientists by remotely controlling experiments.
The International Space Station (ISS) is the world’s largest research facility for experiments under microgravity conditions. The ground infrastructure required for the scientific utilization of ISS facilities is distributed over various European User Support and Operations Centers (USOCs). With emphasis on the disciplines of biological sciences and materials physics, the MUSC in Cologne implemented the German USOC for support of research under microgravity conditions on board the ISS. Besides this, pilot experiments are tested on short-term microgravity missions in order to develop new facility concepts.