When the space shuttle Endeavour lifts off next week, it will carry the first part of a sophisticated Japanese module as well as a Canadian robot to the International Space Station.
Japanese astronaut Takao Doi will help set up the Kibo, a storage module that is the first of three components of the Japanese Hope laboratory. The 4-meter (14-foot) long Kibo is built to fit eight racks of equipment.
“It may feel a little bit small inside,” Doi said. “It’s a little bit bigger than a [small] walk-in closet.”
The seven-member crew also will deliver the Canadian Space Agency’s Dextre robot, which astronauts will use for maintenance purposes on the exterior of the space station. Astronauts inside the station or on the ground will be able to use the robot for routine tasks now done during spacewalks.