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Wallops Island, Virginia, US – February 15, 2020. A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket today launched a Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) from the NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia. The mission is identified as NG-13. The Cygnus cargo delivers to the ISS the European Space Agency ColKa “Columbus Ka-band antenna” communication system, besides other hardware and supplies for the ISS crew. The "ColKa" system will be temporarily stored in the ISS cabin and will be installed outside the COLUMBUS module during an Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) scheduled mid of April 2020. Once installed outside the International Space Station the “ColKa” system will link the Columbus European laboratory to the geostationary “European Data Relay Satellite” (EDRS), offering an high speed data link to astronauts and researchers. Kayser Italia is participating to the ColKa project as Prime Contractor of the “Embarkation Platform”, i.e. the mechanical platform composed of support panels and structure designed to withstand thermal and structural environments, and interfacing with the “COLKa Terminal” equipment, the Columbus module and the launch vehicle/temporary on-orbit stowage location. The Platform provides structural support, thermal control and stability, radiation shielding and protection against space debris and micrometeorites for the installed Terminal equipment. Kayser Italia is also responsible for the interconnecting harness between the Platform and Columbus module.

(Photo Kayser Italia)