Image above: STS-124 crew members pose for a portrait in the Kibo Japanese Pressurized Module of the International Space Station. From the left (front row) are NASA astronauts Karen Nyberg, Garrett Reisman, both mission specialists; Mark Kelly, commander; Greg Chamitoff, Expedition 17 flight engineer; and Ken Ham, pilot. From the left (back row) are Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, NASA astronauts Ron Garan and Mike Fossum, all mission specialists. Credit: NASA
Navy Cmdr. Mark E. Kelly commanded the STS-124 shuttle mission to deliver the Pressurized Module and robotic arm of the Japanese Experiment Module, known as "Kibo" (hope), to the International Space Station. Navy Cmdr. Kenneth T. Ham served as the pilot. Mission specialists included NASA astronauts Karen L. Nyberg; Air Force Col. Ronald J. Garan Jr.; and Air Force Reserve Col. Michael E. Fossum. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide also served as a mission specialist.
Astronaut Gregory E. Chamitoff flew to the station as a mission specialist on STS-124. He took Astronaut Garrett E. Reisman's place as an Expedition 17 flight engineer and will return to Earth on shuttle mission STS-126.
The STS-124 mission was the second of three flights that will launch components to complete the Kibo laboratory. The mission included three spacewalks. The lab's logistics module, which was installed in a temporary location during STS-123, was attached to the new lab.
STS-124 was the 26th shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
Navy Cmdr. Stephen G. Bowen was previously named to the STS-124 crew but was reassigned to STS-126. The change allowed room for the STS-124 mission to rotate a space station resident.