Press Release

More science on the International Space Station thanks to ESA’s

By SpaceRef Editor
October 12, 2001
Filed under , ,

On Tuesday 16 October the European Astrium consortium will be ready to
ship, from its Bremen establishment in Germany to NASA’s Kennedy Space
Center (KSC) in Florida, the microgravity science glovebox (MSG), one of
the first ESA elements conducting science on the International Space
Station. On the same day there will be a press briefing by ESA, Astrium
and NASA specialists (see accreditation form attached), followed by a
visit to the cleanroom.

The MSG will enable astronauts on board the ISS to perform a wide variety
of materials, combustion, fluids and biotechnology experiments and
investigations in the microgravity environment. It is slated for launch in
the mini pressurised logistic module in May 2002.

This science facility provides an enclosed and sealed work volume fitted
with lighting, mechanical, electrical, data, gas and vacuum connections,
and thermal control for operation of experiments. The work volume is
accessible through built-in gloves which isolate the experiment from the
environment and the operator. The MSG is integrated in an international
standard rack (ISPR) and can operate in open mode, with air circulating
from the work volume to the Space Station cabin, or in closed mode, with
air circulating within the MSG only. In addition, the MSG has the
capability to maintain an inert atmosphere with dry nitrogen such that the
oxygen volume is kept equal to or less than 10%.

The MSG facility was built for NASA for a projected operational use of ten
years. It will be accommodated initially in the United States Laboratory
(USLab) but could be moved later to ESA’s Columbus Laboratory. ESA will
have utilisation rights over this facility and will pre-screen European
proposed experiments that could be accommodated by it.

After arrival at KSC on 23 October, the MSG will be submitted to
preliminary check-out before undergoing a long series of tests on
interfaces with the Space Station. If all goes according to plan, on 18
February 2002 the MSG will be installed in the mini pressurised logistic
module and will be ready for its long operational life on board ISS.

Note for Editors:

Several European contractors were involved in the development and delivery
of the MSG:

– Astrium Payload Organisation (Bremen, Germany) as prime contractor

– Bradford Engineering (Netherlands), responsible for the core

– Verhaert Design and Development (Belgium), responsible for provision of
the airlock (part of the core facility) of the stowage drawers and
outfitting equipment

– ATOS-Origin (Netherlands), responsible for the application software

The MSG will be making the first use of the of the European “standard
payload outfitting equipment (SPOE)”, i.e:

– standard payload computer (SPLC) and relevant software provided by
Astrium Infrastructure (Bremen, Germany)

– analogue video board (AVI) provided by Laben (I)

– remote power distribution assembly (RPDA) provided by Carlo Gavazzi
Space (Italy)

– avionics air assembly (AAA) provided by Bradford Engineering (The

and hosting the video drawer assembly (VDA) provided by Bradford
Engineering (The Netherlands) and procured by the Netherlands Agency for
Aerospace Programmes (NIVR).

For further information, please contact :

Brigitte Kolmsee	                Lina De Parolis
Media Relations Office MSG & Cryosystem Project Manager
ESA- Head Office, Paris, France ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, Neterlands
Tel. + 33.1. 53.69.7299 Tel : +31.71.565.4128
Fax. + Fax : +31.71.565.6603


12h00 Welcome by Dr Mathias Spude (Astrium-SI)

12h05 Statement by Dr Karl Knott (ESA)

12h15 Statement by Michael Culp (NASA)

12h25 Statement by Dr Graul (Astrium-SI)

12h35 Visit to cleanroom (in groups of five)

13h30 Snack



Hünefeldstrasse 1-5 – Bremen

Tuesday 16 October 2001

Surname : ________________________First Name : _____________________

MEDIA : __________________________________________________________

Address : _________________________________________________________

Tel : __________________________Fax : ___________________________

Mobile : _________________________e-mail : ________________________

[ ] I will be attending the press briefing on Tuesday 16 October 2001

[ ] I will not be attending

Please fax this form to :
Siegfried Monser
Fax : +49.421.539.4534

SpaceRef staff editor.