DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Columbus module of the International Space Station (ISS), cutaway artwork. This module, provided by the European Space Agency, was delivered to the ISS by NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis. The new module was attached on 11 February 2008 to the starboard side of the Harmony module (partially seen at upper right). Columbus, which is 7 metres long and 4.5 metres wide, serves as a laboratory module, where science experiments are carried out on the ISS. The ISS orbits the Earth at an altitude of around 360 kilometres, has been crewed since late 2000, and is expected to remain in operation until at least 2020.
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