In the MUSC, space experiments are qualified for their certification of flight readiness, their operation during flight is supported with the necessary infrastructure (e.g. with science reference models on ground, and ground support computing systems) and post successful mission, data is publicised in European archives. In parallel, future mission targets are being investigated and development of new experimental and measurement processes takes place. Concerning data systems, user-oriented data acquisition and command systems for experiments in space are provided.
The International Space Station, currently nearing its completion, is already the worlds largest research facility for experiments under microgravity conditions. The ground infrastructure required for the scientific utilisation of ISS facilities is distributed over various European User Support and Operations Centers (USOCs). Besides this, pilot experiments are tested on short-term microgravity missions in order to develop new facility concepts. With emphasis on the disciplines of bioscience and materials physics, the MUSC in Cologne is currently expanding the German USOC for support of research under microgravity conditions onboard the ISS.
In the frame of scientific and technological preparations of space station utilisation, various European parabolic flight campaigns with an Airbus A300 were conducted. Among others, a new method for electromagnetic levitation was verified, which is planned to be used in the European module in the future. Using the same method, initial scientific experiments under microgravity conditions could be carried out. The focus of these tests was to answer questions of materials science concerning the physical properties of alloy melts relevant to technical applications.