BIOTESC is specialized in life-science research. It supports research groups from all over the world in scientific, technical and operational matters in order to provide successful experiments in space aboard the European Columbus-module.
In the preparatory stage of a space flight, BIOTESC staff are involved in planning the experiment and the development of the related documents. These include procedures for astronauts (crew), which detail how the experiment shall be conducted and what kind of hardware is to be used. BIOTESC members assist in crew training and as experts they provide planning inputs to ESA. They provide written information for the ESA and the flight control team in Munich in order to make sure all those involved are operating with the same level of knowledge.
Before an experiment flight can be declared as ready, the experiments are tested for their scientific and their operational compatibility. BIOTESC plans and executes these tests.
During the space mission BIOTESC assists the crew in performing the prepared experiments from their control room in Hergiswil.
BIOTESC also supports the ESA Education Payload Operations (EPO) team in preparing and executing simple science demonstrations. The EPO experiments are recorded on video and designed for children and young adults of the ESA member states. In these videos astronauts explain the laws of physics and the differences between life on earth and life in space.
Last but not least BIOTESC is also responsible for the maintenance of the incubator “Kubik” and the automated tracking system “Nightpod” on board the ISS. The preparation of these procedures follow the same rules as the experiment but are usually not as extensive.