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Preparing and performing microgravity experiments

A wide range of experiments in physiology, biology, neurosciences, fluid physics, materials sciences and technology are performed on board the International Space Station (ISS) or in untended capsules.

Cadmos1, the centre for the development of microgravity applications and space operations, was formed by CNES in 1993. This centre is responsible on the ground for planning, organizing and monitoring microgravity missions.

Cadmos’s chief mission is to help the scientific community prepare experiments. To this end, it takes part in the experiment selection process, aids feasibility studies, writes operational procedures and handles mission planning.
Once experiments are aloft in space, Cadmos monitors science operations. For crewed spaceflights, it serves as the point of contact between astronauts and the science and engineering specialists keeping track of experiments in real time.

Once the mission is over, Cadmos is responsible for collecting and archiving science data and disseminating them to users.
Cadmos not only implements experiments developed by CNES, it has also been selected by Esa as one of 9 USOCs2 to provide back-up to users conducting experiments on board the ISS.
Cadmos tests and validates procedures on ground models of flight equipment and can also train crews. As a USOC, it also controls flight model operations, uplinking of commands and data reception.

1 Cadmos: Centre d'Aide au Développement des activités en Micropesanteur et des Opérations Spatiales

2 USOC: Users Support & Operational Centre
Initiator CNES
Date formed  1993
Localisation  CNES Toulouse Space Center
Objective Organize scientific microgravity experiments and monitor them from the ground
Users CNES, Esa and the scientific community

Last updated: November 2009

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