At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ramps are in place for the offloading of the primary cargo from the Russian Antonov AH-124-100 cargo airplane. The plane carried the final components of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory for the International Space Station: the Kibo Exposed Facility, or EF, and the Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section, or ELM-ES.
The EF provides a multipurpose platform where science experiments can be deployed and operated in the exposed environment. The payloads attached to the EF can be exchanged or retrieved by Kibo's robotic arm, the JEM Remote Manipulator System. The ELM-ES will be attached to the end of the EF to provide payload storage space and can carry up to three payloads at launch. In addition, the ELM-ES provides a logistics function where it can be detached from the EF and returned to the ground aboard the space shuttle. The two components will be carried aboard space shuttle Endeavour on misison STS-127.
Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann
Sept. 24, 2008