SSC and human spaceflight

May 14, 2024
SSC and human spaceflight

What a beautiful view! Check out this SSC patch floating in the International Space Station’s cupola. Did you know that we have supported manned spaceflight since the Apollo missions and that we still are, including flights to the ISS?

One example is the first manned spaceflight from the US since the last shuttle in 2011, and the first human space flight by a private company. Our stations in Australia and Hawaii supported this mission.

The Santiago Satellite Station has provided support to the Apollo missions as well as the NASA Space Shuttle missions. SSC has developed four experiments that traveled with space shuttles. And we are now developing experiments for the ISS, like the ongoing XRF project, a unique X-ray experiment unit.

Our engineering teams at ESA and German Aerospace Center (DLR) have been and still are involved in manned spaceflights and ISS projects. One is the Columbus module, ESA’s orbiting science laboratory used for several experiments, like growing plants, researching new metals, and probing astronauts’ blood, bodies and brains. And we have had a team involved in astronaut training at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne.

Astronaut Marcus Wandt brought a few of the patches we produced for his flight to the ISS during his Muninn mission, which now hangs proudly in our Kiruna office.

Photo credit: Axiom Space/ESA

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