European officials have marked the completion of the European laboratory Columbus, which will be launched into space from Cape Canaveral next year.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European dignitaries attended ceremonies in the northern German city of Bremen, celebrating the achievements of European industries that assembled the lab. Columbus will be shipped to Florida later this month.

The laboratory will be launched aboard a space shuttle and begin operating from the International Space Station. Over a 10-year period, Columbus will conduct scientific research while orbiting the earth.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.