NASA to welcome EU space station component

May 24, 2006 at 6:32 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., May 24 (UPI) -- The European Space Agency's research laboratory, named Columbus, is to arrive at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida May 30.

NASA scientists will then prepare the lab for delivery to the International Space Station on a future space shuttle mission.

Columbus -- to be flown to Kennedy from its manufacturer in Germany -- is designed to expand the research facilities of the station and provide scientists with the ability to conduct numerous experiments in the area of life, physical and materials sciences.

NASA will officially welcome Columbus during a June 2 ceremony to be attended by William Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations; Alan Thirkettle, the European Space Agency's International Space Station program manager; Jim Kennedy, director of the Kennedy Space Center; and Russell Romanella, director of ISS payloads processing.

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