From European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU): “Showtime for ColKa”

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From European Space Agency – United Space in Europe (EU)



Lights, camera, action for NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover. The duo will install European payloads outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk on 27 January, guided by the know-how of their colleagues.

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen is seen in this image installing the Columbus Ka-band or ColKa terminal that will enable faster communication with Europe during a ‘dress rehearsal’ in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in 2018.

Andrea will serve as ground IV, directing Mike and Victor through the installation of the small fridge-sized device by radio from NASA’s mission control.

ColKa will connect the Columbus module to the European Data Relay System, satellites in geostationary orbit that transfer data via European ground stations. This will enable faster uplink and downlink speeds between the European segment of the Space Station and European researchers on the ground.

In addition to installing ColKa, the pair will also complete cable and antenna rigging for the Bartolomeo science platform outside Columbus.

The Bartolomeo service will provide end-to-end access for external payloads on the Space Station. A new community of start-ups and space entrepreneurs will benefit from an unobstructed view of Earth, direct control of experiments from the ground and the possibility of retrieving samples.

Tomorrow’s spacewalk will begin at 13:00 CET and will be streamed live via NASA TV. Follow live updates on the spacewalk on social media via @esaspaceflight.


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The European Space Agency (ESA) (EU), established in 1975, is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, currently with 19 member states. Headquartered in Paris, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000. ESA’s space flight program includes human spaceflight, mainly through the participation in the International Space Station program, the launch and operations of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science, telecommunication as well as maintaining a major spaceport, the Guiana Space Centre at Kourou, French Guiana, and designing launch vehicles. ESA science missions are based at ESTEC in Noordwijk, Netherlands, Earth Observation missions at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy, ESA Mission Control (ESOC) is in Darmstadt, Germany, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) that trains astronauts for future missions is situated in Cologne, Germany, and the European Space Astronomy Centre is located in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.

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