Issue Date: March 17, 2008
New Lab Goes To Space Station
The Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off last week on a mission to deliver the first piece of a Japanese laboratory module and a two-armed robotic system to the International Space Station. The launch was the second of six shuttle launches planned for this year. The lab module is the first part of the Kibo lab. Kibo means hope in Japanese. "With the delivery of the Japanese Kibo laboratory, ISS will have crossed an important threshold now that each of the ISS International Partners' laboratories will be in orbit," according to Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), chairman of the House Science & Technology Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee. This mission includes the pressurized section of the experiment logistics module of Kibo. The cylindrical module has an inner diameter of 4.2 meters and length of 4.2 meters and can hold eight racks, each of which is about the size of a phone booth. The pressurized module will be used for storing experiment payloads, samples, and spare parts. The remaining components of Kibo will be delivered in two shuttle missions scheduled within the next year. Once complete, Kibo will support experiments on space medicine, biology, Earth observations, material production, biotechnology, and communications research.
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