Finally, Columbus, ESA's laboratory at the International Space Station has been completely deployed! After several months of uncertainty (the original launch was scheduled last 6th December), Columbus was launched last Thursday evening (at 8.46 pm). During the weekend, it was on its way to the ISS and yesterday, at around 3pm in Europe, it was connected and correctly activated.
It's been many years' effort for many people here in ESTEC. Last Thursday, in the Erasmus Center, the place where the launch was broadcast for all ESTEC, many people clapped and even shouted and cried after the launch was successful. Today, before lunch, ESA has offered a drink to everybody working here, to celebrate it is working properly up there!
This is a big success for Europe, ESA and international collaboration in general. Now, it is time to start using it for good experiments.