The time has finally come when we find out if the ASIM instrument has survived all the stress it has been put through during its flight up to the International Space Station (ISS). Today, Friday the 13th(!) April, ASIM will be retrieved from the Dragon capsule and installed on the Columbus module. Columbus is ESA’s own hi-tech laboratory in space, which was launched ten years ago and attached to ISS. But now it’s ASIM’s turn to be mounted on the outside of the Columbus module, where it will occupy center stage to study several enigmatic light phenomena – not to mention high-energy gamma radiation – that occur during thunderstorms.
(ESA’s Columbus laboratory. Copyright: ESA)
After the installation process is complete, the moment we’ve been waiting for will finally arrive: ASIM will be connected to its power source and scientists will be able to see whether the instrument has survived the tremendous temperature fluctuations and the great forces it has been exposed to during launch.
Here is a short animation that shows what will happen today:
The following is a link to a live transmission from ISS that will show how the robot arm on ISS will retrieve ASIM from the Dragon capsule and mount it on the Columbus module. Transmission starts at 15:00 Norway time and will continue for several hours.