Space travel

On February 7, 2008 at 8:45 p.m. (CET), the Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, taking LTG engineering expertise with it. On board was the “Columbus” space laboratory, which was docked to the International Space Station ISS. Various experiments are carried out in zero gravity in the space laboratory. It will be in operation until at least 2020.
As an absolute air technology specialist, LTG was commissioned to optimize the distribution of air within the module.
Due to the lack of gravity, there is no circulation of air by convection currents in orbit, so the cabin air must be circulated by fans to avoid local heat and CO2 accumulation.
The “Columbus” module was built as a 1:1 scale model in the LTG laboratory. Weightless air flows were simulated in the experiment while maintaining exactly isothermal air conditions. The module’s air conditioning system had to guarantee a minimum air exchange rate at every point in the room to prevent the formation of CO2 pockets. The optimization of the air flow in the flow test ultimately ensured a sufficient oxygen supply to all module zones.
LTG received a similar order back in the 1970s when the Spacelab space laboratory was developed. At that time, too, the focus was on air management in the most important Spacelab element, the habitable module. In addition to the scientific laboratory equipment, it also contained important operating systems such as the energy distribution, life support and environmental control systems. The atmosphere in the module was similar to that on earth. In 1998, the Spacelab was decommissioned after 22 flights with the Space Shuttle. A section of the Spacelab laboratory from the German D2-SPACELAB mission in 1993 is now on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.