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'Hope' Grows
Welcoming ceremony in the Space Station Processing Facility. Image above: At the podium is Bill Parsons, director of Kennedy Space Center. Seated at right are Russ Romanella, director of International Space Station and Spacecraft Processing; Dr. Kichiro Imagawa, project manager of the JEM Development Project Team for JAXA; Melanie Saunders, associate manager of the International Space Station Program at Johnson Space Center; and STS-123 Commander Dominic Gorie. Image credit: NASA/George Shelton
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The second of two pressurized components for the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo has arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Kibo, which means hope, is Japan's first human space facility and its primary contribution to the International Space Station.

In the Space Station Processing Facility, representatives from both the Japanese Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA) and NASA were on hand to mark the beginning of the final preparations for flight. Teams of Japanese and American technicians will work together to perform checkout and processing activities prior to launch.

Astronauts Dominic Gorie and Takao Doi. This pressurized section will be the first Kibo segment attached to the space station by the crew of the STS-123 shuttle mission, and will serve as a storage area for materials, tools and supplies. In addition, it will deliver eight experiment racks that will later be transferred to the main Kibo laboratory module.

Image at right: STS-123 Commander Dominic Gorie (left) and JAXA Astronaut Takao Doi discuss the Kibo pressurized segment that will be delivered to the space station during their mission. Image Credit: NASA

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Cheryl L. Mansfield
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center