E-USOC Intranet


USOCs Network

The ISS Programme consists of two major components, which are termed "space segment" and "ground segment" respectively. The space segment refers to the on-orbit ISS elements (including the vehicles that service the ISS), and the ground segment includes all of the ground-based facilities that support the activities involved in the Payload Lifecycle. Based on a decision made by the Manned Space Programme Board in 1998, ESA decided to adopt a decentralised infrastructure for the operation of European payloads on board the ISS, based on the concept of User Support and Operations Centres (USOCs).

The network of mission assistance centres for ESA laboratories operating onboard the ISS is based in a set of ground laboratories located in European Institutions with a wide knowledge and prestige in the field of microgravity, biomedicine, etc. These ground laboratories are organized into several categories and are grouped according to the facilities they are goint to take care of.

Facility Responsible Centres (FRC), assisted by their Facility Support Centres (FSC), are coordinated by the Columbus Control Centre (Col-CC) located in Munich, and by the Mission Management Team of the European Space Agency. Associated centres for Columbus payloads are:


Source: ESA

  • Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL)
    • FRC: B.USOC (Brusells, Belgium)
    • FSC: E-USOC (Madrid, Spain)
    • FRC: MUSC (Colonia, Germany)
    • FSC: BIOTESC (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • European Physiology Module (EPM)
    • FRC: CADMOS (Toulouse, France)
    • FSC: DAMEC (Copenhaguen, Denmark)
  • Material Science Laboratory (MSL)
    Low Gradient Furnace (LGF)
    • FRC: MUSC (Cologne, Germany)
    • FRC: CADMOS (Toulouse, France)
    Solidification and Quenching Furnace (SQF)
    • FRC: CADMOS (Toulouse, France)
    • FSC: MUSC (Cologne, Germany)
  • European Drawer Rack (EDR)
    • FRC: ERASMUS ESTEC (Noordwijk, Holland)
    • FSC: DUC (Holland) y B.USOC (Brusells, Belgium)
  • European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS)
    • FSC: N-USOC (Trondheim, Norway)