Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Space station gets big Japanese lab room

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) June 3, 2008
Astronauts have attached a bus-sized Japanese laboratory to the International Space Station, giving the orbiting outpost its biggest room and providing Japan with a key foothold in space.

JapaneseastronautAkihikoHoshide and American colleague Karen Nyberg used the station's robotic arm to slowly pull the 15-tonne lab out of the cargo bay of shuttle Discovery, which docked on Monday, and attach it to its new home.

"Congratulations, we have a new Hope on the International Space Station," Hoshide said after the lab was hooked to the ISS on Tuesday.

Dubbed Kibo ("hope" in Japanese), Japan's first manned space facility is 11.2-meters (36.7-feet) long and has room for four astronauts. NASA's Destiny module is 8.5 meters long while Europe's Columbus facility measures 6.8 meters.

The astronauts are scheduled to activate the cylindrical Japanese Pressurized Module (JPM) on Wednesday and enter the lab for the first time at around 2052 GMT.

Kibo's 10-meter (33-foot) robotic arm, which will manipulate materials and equipment for science experiments, will also be installed during the Discovery mission.

Shuttle Endeavour already brought one piece of the laboratory in March -- a logistics module that will be used for storage.

The third and final part of the lab -- an outdoor facility that will allow experiments to be exposed to the effects of space -- will be delivered next year.

When completed, Kibo will allow astronauts to carry out experiments in space medicine, biology and biotechnology, material production, and communications, both in a pressurized environment and completely exposed to space.

The facility will be jointly monitored from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tsukuba facility and NASA Mission Control in Houston, Texas.

"We are extremely happy to see the Kibo pressurized module attached at her permanent location," Tetsuro Yokoyama, deputy Kibo operations project manager, told reporters at a briefing at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The US space agency, which hopes to complete construction of the ISS in 2010, considers the station a central part of space exploration ambitions, allowing scientists to study the effects of microgravity on humans.

"It was an amazing day for the ISS program," station deputy program manager Kirk Shireman told reporters.

"We're very pleased to have the pressurized module of Kibo on board the International Space Station to its final home," he said. "We're well on our way to completing the ISS."

The Japanese module was installed after US astronauts MikeFossumandRonGaran removed its restraints inside the shuttle cargo bay during a six-hour, 48-minute spacewalk, about 338 kilometers (210 miles) above Earth.

The spacewalkers' first order of business was to disconnect a shuttle inspection boom from the station, where it had been left behind during the last mission in March to make room for the Kibo lab inside Discovery's cargo bay.

Hoshide then used the station's robotic arm to hand over the boom to Nyberg, who used the shuttle's robotic arm to return it to Discovery.

The spacewalk began almost one hour late, but Fossum and Garan made up for the lost time.

"Fantastic work by both of them," a NASA mission control official radioed Discovery pilot Kenneth Ham, who was choreographing the sortie, about three hours into the spacewalk.

Discovery arrived at the station Monday with seven astronauts on board, joining the ISS's three-man crew for a nine-day stay.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

NASA to launch 'Buzz Lightyear' into space
Washington (UPI) May 29, 2008
The U.S. space agency says Saturday's liftoff of space shuttle Discovery will involve seven trained astronauts and one toy astronaut named Buzz Lightyear.

  • NASA chief backs proposal for European spaceship
  • SpaceX And NASA To Improve Mission Critical Software Systems
  • A First For Falcon 9 As Five Go Hot
  • George Law Joins Rocketplane Global

  • GLAST Blast Off Delayed Until At Least June 11
  • Independent Panel To Investigate Ariane 5 Software Glitch
  • NASA sets Thursday for GLAST launch
  • Two Ariane 5s Are Readied For Launches In May And June

  • Space shuttle blastoff damaged launch pad: NASA
  • Foam chunks in Discovery launch no problem: NASA official
  • Shuttle delivers Japanese lab to space station
  • Japan astronaut's fans celebrate shuttle launch

  • Astronauts begin Kibo mission's second spacewalk
  • Astronauts open space station's 'beautiful' Japanese lab
  • Kibo: Japan's research unit at the International Space Station
  • Discovery heads to space station with Japanese lab

  • Canada Lagging Behind G8 In Space Capabilities
  • Space station gets big Japanese lab room
  • NASA to launch 'Buzz Lightyear' into space
  • French skydiver fails record freefall bid

  • Suits For Shenzhou
  • China Launches New Space Tracking Ship To Serve Shenzhou VII
  • Three Rocketeers For Shenzhou
  • China's space development can pose military threat: Japan

  • TU Delft Robot Flame Walks Like A Human
  • A Biomimetic Jumping Microrobot
  • Robot conducts Detroit orchestra
  • Canada rejects sale of space firm to US defense firm

  • Third Scoop Is A Keeper For Phoenix Mars Lander
  • Biological Stowaways On Mars
  • Phoenix Captures Highest Resolution Images Ever From Surface Of Mars
  • Simulations Predicted Mars Lander Would Hit Subsurface

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement