Paris, 20 Oct 2004
On 19 October 2004, ESA and DLR officially inaugurated the Columbus Control Centre. The Centre has been set up under ESA contract in Oberpfaffenhofen at the premises of DLR, near Munich, Germany. The Columbus Control Centre is now ready to take up operations of the European elements of the International Space Station (ISS).
For the coming months ESA, DLR and industrial teams will establish operational procedures, train the flight control teams, connect to all other centres of the ISS operations network and test the communication lines.
From 2006 the Centre will control ESA's Columbus laboratory
The Columbus Control Centre will see its first real-time operations in April next year, when the Italian ESA astronaut Roberto Vittori will visit the ISS for 10 days. An ESA/DLR team will control and command the scientific programme of the European experiments on board the ISS using the Columbus Control Centre for the first time.
Later in 2005 the Control Centre will provide communications support for the launch and in-orbit operations of ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). In 2006 it will control the operations of ESA's Columbus laboratory once it is connected to the ISS.
For further information on the Columbus Control Centre, please contact:
Head of the Operations Department
Directorate of Human Spaceflight
Tel: +31 71 565 3341
Fax: + 31 71 565 68