From Bremen to Space
The European part of the International Space Station (ISS), which has traditionally housed experiments for basic science, will soon be open to commercial experiments as well. Airbus Defence and Space is currently building “Bartolomeo,” a new European external payload platform for experiments from industry, at its facilities in Bremen. The EUR 20 million platform, which will be attached to the outside of the “Columbus” module, will be able to receive up to 12 different modules with experiments, supply them with energy, and perform the data transmission to Earth beginning in 2019. The “Bartolomeo” will also be equipped with “OSIRIS,” the first high-capacity space-to-ground laser communications system, providing it with unparalleled data downlink capacity. The “OSIRIS” system is part of a collaboration between Airbus Defence and Space, the Institute of Communications and Navigation of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co. KG.
“Bartolomeo” platform outside of “Columbus” of the ISS space station © Airbus