The German ESA-Astronaut Hans Schlegel working at Columbus-Module (Picture: ESA/NASA.)
Responsibility for the payload- and experiment-related mission planning, mission execution and data management is administered in decentralised scientific centers across Europe known as European User Support Centers. In this network, the MUSC is integrated as the leading European User Support center. MUSC operates the space station facilities Biolab, Expose, Matroshka, DOSIS, Materials Science Lab (MSL) and in the future the FASTER (Facility for Absorption and Surface Tension) and EML (Electromagnetic Levitator) by order of ESA.
With the launch of Columbus, MUSC has commenced operations for the European segment of the ISS. After a commissioning phase, the Biolab facility has been used for the first run of experiments. In parallel, on Columbus’ external EuTEF platform, the experiment Expose has been activated for approximately 18 months. In the Russian segment, the long-term radiation measuring experiment Matroshka was already in use since 2004. For the Materials Science Lab, current activities include the verification of the ground segment and preparation of the initial experiment batch.