After traveling thousands of miles, two major components of the International Space Station completed the first leg of a journey that will eventually end 240 miles above the Earth. NASA's Node 2, built for the agency by the European Space Agency (ESA) in Italy, and the Pressurized Module of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) arrived in Florida and are being transported to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) this week.
"Delivery of these components, built in Europe and Japan, to KSC for integrated testing prior to flight is yet another indication of the significant global cooperation and proactive planning required for successful operation of the International Space Station program," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's Station Program Manager. "Their arrival in the United States signifies the Space Station international partnership is continuing to move forward with the steps necessary to construct our unique research platform in space," he said.
The arrival of Node 2, the next pressurized module to be installed on the Station, sets in motion the final steps toward completing assembly of essential U.S. components. When installed, Node 2 will increase the living and working space inside the Space Station to approximately 18,000 cubic feet. It will also allow the addition of international laboratories from Europe and Japan.
The Pressurized Module is the first element of the JEM, named "Kibo" (Hope), to be delivered to KSC. The JEM is Japan's primary contribution to the Station. It will enhance the unique research capabilities of the orbiting complex by providing an additional environment for astronauts to conduct science experiments.
The JEM also includes an exposed facility (platform) for space environment experiments, a robotic manipulator system, and two logistics modules. The various JEM components will be assembled in space over the course of three Shuttle missions.
An Airbus Beluga heavy-lift aircraft, carrying Node 2, departed May 30 from Turin, Italy, where the Italian Space Agency's (ASI) contractor, Alenia Spazio, built it. Following post-transportation inspections, ASI will formally transfer ownership of Node 2 to ESA, which, in turn, will sign it over to NASA.
The container transport ship carrying JEM departed May 2 from Yokohama Harbor in Japan for the voyage to the United States. The National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) developed the laboratory at the Tsukuba Space Center near Tokyo.
Later this summer, integrated testing will confirm module compatibility and, ultimately, lead to pre-launch processing at KSC's Space Station Processing Facility.
NASA International Space Station program managers will host a welcoming ceremony for the modules and international partner representatives from ESA, ASI and NASDA June 18. An opportunity for media to interview the representatives and take photographs of the modules will follow the ceremony. U.S. media that desire to attend must contact the KSC Press Site by 4 p.m. (EDT) June 16. International media must submit credential requests by 4 p.m. (EDT) June 6.
Media who do not possess KSC credentials should submit their request via facsimile to: 321/867-2692 and include the following information:
Full legal name Title Organization Address Telephone number Date of birth Place of birth Social Security number or Passport number Country of citizenship
For more information, please contact the KSC Press Site at: 321/867-2468.
For more information about NASA and the International Space Station on the Internet, visit:
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