Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 581–598

EXPOSE, an Astrobiological Exposure Facility on the International Space Station - from Proposal to Flight

  • Elke Rabbow
  • Gerda Horneck
  • Petra Rettberg
  • Jobst-Ulrich Schott
  • Corinna Panitz
  • Andrea L’Afflitto
  • Ralf von Heise-Rotenburg
  • Reiner Willnecker
  • Pietro Baglioni
  • Jason Hatton
  • Jan Dettmann
  • René Demets
  • Günther Reitz
Astrobiology

Abstract

Following an European Space Agency announcement of opportunity in 1996 for ”Externally mounted payloads for 1st utilization phase” on the International Space Station (ISS), scientists working in the fields of astrobiology proposed experiments aiming at long-term exposure of a variety of chemical compounds and extremely resistant microorganisms to the hostile space environment. The ESA exposure facility EXPOSE was built and an operations´ concept was prepared. The EXPOSE experiments were developed through an intensive pre-flight experiment verification test program. 12 years later, two sets of astrobiological experiments in two EXPOSE facilities have been successfully launched to the ISS for external exposure for up to 1.5 years. EXPOSE-E, now installed at the balcony of the European Columbus module, was launched in February 2008, while EXPOSE-R took off to the ISS in November 2008 and was installed on the external URM-D platform of the Russian Zvezda module in March 2009.

Keywords

Astrobiology International space station EXPOSE facility Low earth orbit Space environment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elke Rabbow
    • 1
  • Gerda Horneck
    • 1
  • Petra Rettberg
    • 1
  • Jobst-Ulrich Schott
    • 1
  • Corinna Panitz
    • 2
  • Andrea L’Afflitto
    • 1
  • Ralf von Heise-Rotenburg
    • 3
  • Reiner Willnecker
    • 1
  • Pietro Baglioni
    • 4
  • Jason Hatton
    • 4
  • Jan Dettmann
    • 4
  • René Demets
    • 4
  • Günther Reitz
    • 1
  1. 1.German Aerospace Center DLRInstitute of Aerospace MedicineKoelnGermany
  2. 2.RWTH AachenAachenGermany
  3. 3.Kayser-Threde GmbHMunichGermany
  4. 4.ESA ESTECNoordwijkThe Netherlands

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