Japanese Module Added to Space Station

Japanese Module

Japanese astronaut Takao Doi remarks on the opening of the the Japanese Logistics Module. Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson is at right. Credit: NASA TV


Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Japanese astronaut Takao Doi were the first to enter the Japanese Logistics Module – Pressurized Section (JLP). Marking the beginning of Japan’s scientific work aboard the station, the new module was opened module at 9:23 p.m. EDT Friday. The STS-123 and Expedition 16 crews continue transferring supplies and equipment into the JLP from space shuttle Endeavour.

The JLP is the first component of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory.

Operating Canadarm2, the station’s robot arm, Mission Specialists Robert Behnken and Léopold Eyharts grabbed the shuttle’s boom sensor and handed it off to Endeavour’s robot arm in preparation for stowage on the station’s S1 truss later in the mission.

The station’s arm operators grappled the Canadian-built Dextre at 9:59 p.m. Friday. Canadarm2 successfully powered up Dextre 11 minutes later.

When Dextre was removed from Endeavour’s cargo bay after the shuttle docked to the station, ground teams ran into problems routing power to the pallet on which the robot is being assembled. The teams tried troubleshooting the problem with a software patch early Friday morning, but were not successful.

STS-123 Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman will spend the night in the station’s Quest Airlock in preparation for the second spacewalk of the mission, which begins Saturday. The purpose of this “camp out” is to purge the nitrogen from their bodies before their planned exit at 8:23 p.m. Saturday. Linnehan and Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman completed the mission’s first spacewalk early Friday morning.