The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) began the commissioning of the Microgravity Vibration Isolation Subsystem (MVIS) on board the International Space Station.
CSA Astronaut Bob Thirsk activated the sophisticated Canadian technology on July 10, 2009.
Designed to isolate science experiments from the effects of vibrations, MVIS is expected to mark the beginning of more exact and controlled molecular science in a weightless environment.
Now in its first phase of commissioning, the system has been brought on-line and basic functionality is being tested. After MVIS is wholly integrated into the Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL), the MVIS team will be able to assess its full capacity to isolate experimental loads.
MVIS was developed by the Canadian Space Agency and the Magellan Aerospace Corporation (Bristol Aerospace Limited) of Winnipeg; MDA of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec; the École de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal; and SENER, in Spain. The CSA is working very closely with the European Space Agency to incorporate MVIS into the FSL.
Bob Thirsk will continue MVIS tests throughout his mission on the International Space Station, which will be reported on the Expedition 20/21 homepage.