Friday, February 22, 2008

Next Up, Space Shuttle Endeavour / STS-123

Launch Target: March 11, 2008 2:31 a.m. EDT
"Topping the list of milestones is the delivery of part of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s module, marking the beginning of the agency’s presence on the station. The Japanese Experiment Logistics Module, Pressurized Section – called the JLP – is really just the warm-up act for JAXA. It will contain critical avionics and serve as a storage area for experiment materials. At 14.4 feet in diameter and 12.8 feet in length, it is the smaller of two pressurized Japanese modules. Combined with other elements, they will make up Kibo, the station’s Japanese complex, named for the Japanese word for hope. Kibo’s main facility and its robotic arm are scheduled to launch on the following shuttle mission, and a "front porch" that will allow astronauts to expose experiments directly to space will be delivered later. "

" After getting the JAXA module installed, the crew’s attention – at least as far as spacewalks go – will turn to the Canadian Space Agency’s newest contribution to the station, the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator. Dubbed Dextre by a Canada-wide naming contest, the robot, with its two small robotic arms, will attach to the station’s robotic arm, Candarm2, and allow astronauts to replace hardware outside the station without doing a spacewalk.

It’s a complicated piece of hardware, and because it is launched in several pieces, some assembly will be required."

More at the NASA site.
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