The Italian Space Agency has handed over a major contribution to the International Space Station (ISS). It has delivered to the European Space Agency the flight structure and environmental control and life support subsystem (ECLS) of the ISS' Columbus Orbital Facility (COF) module.

The COF scientific laboratory, built by prime contractor Alenia Spazio with Germany's Dornier, is to be launched in 2004 and will be docked to the ISS during a Space Shuttle mission.

It will be used to conduct materials, sciences, medical, biological and technological experiments. The ECLS comprises fans, heat exchangers, sensors and motorised and pneumatic valves operated by the onboard computer.

The COF is of a similar configuration to the Italian Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules, the first of which will be launched on the Space Shuttle in February 2001.

Source: Flight International