STS-123 Mission Patch
STS-123 -- Cosmic Corridor
The patch for space shuttle mission STS-123 represents Endeavour carrying new components to the International Space Station. The patch symbolizes the shuttle's task of carrying a Canadian robot and a Japanese module to the space station. The patch also shows the station as it will look when the STS-123 crew arrives.
International Space Station Configuration
The STS-123 mission brings the space station's first Japanese component. The new module attaches to the top of the Harmony Node in the front of the station. The mission also will deliver Dextre, a Canadian robot with two small robotic arms.
The seven astronauts of the STS-123 mission pose for a crew portrait. Seated in front, from the left, are Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and Commander Dominic Gorie. Standing in the back row, from the left, are mission specialists Rick Linnehan, Robert L. Behnken, Garrett Reisman, Mike Foreman and Takao Doi from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
STS-123 is the 25th space shuttle mission to the International Space Station. This mission brings new hardware -- the first component of the Kibo (kee
bo) module from Japan and the Dextre robot from Canada. Astronaut Garrett Reisman rides on this mission to switch places on the station with European Space Agency astronaut Léopold Eyharts. Reisman will stay on the station after shuttle Endeavour returns to Earth.
Countries from around the world have built parts and have done work to complete the station. This is what makes the space station international. The main space agencies working on the station are from the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. With the addition of Kibo, all of these space agencies will have components that make up the space station.
The STS-123 mission includes the installation of "Dextre." The Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator is a robot. Dextre has two small robotic arms. It will attach to the Canadarm2 already on the station.
The Japanese Experiment Module is named Kibo. This is the Japanese word for "hope." Kibo is made of six parts. STS-123 delivers the first piece. This piece is the Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section, or ELM-PS. It will hold eight racks for experiments.
Takao Doi is an astronaut representing the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA. He will be the first person to enter the new Japanese addition to the space station. Japanese meals are added to the menu for this mission.
Dextre in Action
The Canadian robot Dextre has two arms that can move objects, use tools, and install and remove equipment on the space station. The robot has lights, video equipment, a tool platform and four tool holders. Astronauts will operate Dextre remotely from inside the station. Cameras on Dextre will allow the station crew to stay inside the station for tasks that would have required a spacewalk.
A Long Mission
The STS-123 crew needs at least five spacewalks to accomplish its mission. That is more spacewalks than a usual mission requires. Installing Dextre and the Kibo module requires three spacewalks. The last two are for other shuttle and station work. Most missions land on flight day 14. The STS-123 mission is expected to last 16 days.
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