CIRiS is a department of NTNU Samfunnsforskning AS with the mandate to promote and perform research and development relevant to the human exploration of space. The main activities are related to research activities onboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Human Spaceflight and Society
History shows that access to new transport technologies, new territories and resources, affects our view of the world and the society we live in. At CIRiS we are focusing on how human exploration and exploitation of space can and will affect our civilization.
International Space Station
Today, the ISS is a beautiful reality, an international accomplishment that Norway, through ESA, is proudly taking part of. The ESA Columbus laboratory is a key contribution to an endeavour that has brought humanity to live and work in space uninterruptedly for almost a decade.
We contribute on a daily basis to this endeavour through support to the utilization and operation of the ISS research facilities, experiments and technology development.
Regenerative life support systems
The vast distances to be travelled when exploring space, makes it both economically and practically necessary to develop new concepts to supply the required consumables to the astronauts.
Today, life support systems with the necessary regenerative functions hold the best promise to fulfil the ancient dream of permanent presence of humans on other planets and in deep space.
Our department maintains high-quality research and development capability through applied agricultural research projects. Together with established partners we perform chemical, biological and microbiological analyses of plant material.
We contribute to a better understanding of plant health and crop yield through field and greenhouse experiments and research facilities with controlled environments.
Integration and Operation
Research and experiments in space is challenging because of large geographic distances. Our control centre – N-USOC (Norwegian User Support and Operations Centre) – is one of ESA’s 9 Operations Control Centres that are a part of the ISS programme. Our experiments in space demand thorough planning, development and testing of equipment, highly specified procedures and training of console personnel. The execution of space experiments includes use of advanced technology, in addition to communication and cooperation between both the astronauts onboard ISS and the ground segment and between the different Operations Control Centres.