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SFS News: New Japanese Lab Open for Business

Posted by: Klaus Schmidt - Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:31 am
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SFS News: New Japanese Lab Open for Business 
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Space Station Commander
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Post SFS News: New Japanese Lab Open for Business   Posted on: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:31 am
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Image above: Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide holds up a sign for the camera as he enters the Kibo lab for the first time. Photo credit: NASA TV

(NASA) - The shuttle and station crews opened the newly installed Japanese laboratory Kibo for business Wednesday. Hatch opening occurred at 5:05 p.m. EDT. The experiment module was installed on the Harmony Node’s port side Tuesday.

After a leak check, mission specialists Karen Nyberg and Akihiko Hoshide prepared Kibo for activation before opening the hatches. Shortly after entering Kibo, the crew members sampled the air and tested for contamination. They wore protective goggles and masks until they were sure the Japanese lab’s air was clean.

Mission specialists Mike Fossum and Ron Garan reviewed procedures for their second spacewalk and will sleep in the U.S. Quest airlock overnight to purge the nitrogen from their bodies. During Thursday’s spacewalk, the second of the mission, the spacewalkers will outfit the new lab and prepare the Japanese logistics module for relocation.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:54 am
I saw it last night in NASA TV and I was impressed about the sheer size although the science racks are still missing.

Now imagine a Bigelow BA-330 module with 6.7 m diameter and 14 m length. The Kibo PM is "only" 4.40 x 11 meters.

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