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Shipping of the Kibo ELM-PS, Kibo RMS and Kibo experiment racks

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The Experiment Logistics Module - Pressurized Section, or ELM-PS, a component of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo," as well as the Kibo Remote Manipulator System (RMS) and two of the experiment racks that will be installed in the Kibo Pressurized Module (PM), were shipped from the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC) in December 2006 and arrived in the United States in March 2007.

Shipping of the Kibo ELM-PS

The Kibo ELM-PS, which left TKSC during the early morning of January 26, 2007, was loaded onto a river craft at the New Tsuchiura Port. After loading, the craft left for Yokohama Port. After arriving at Yokohama Port, the Kibo ELM-PS was transferred to an ocean-going vessel. The ship, with the Kibo ELM-PS, departed Yokohama Port on February 7, 2007, and arrived on March 12, at Port Canaveral, which is adjacent to NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

The Kibo ELM-PS will be transferred to the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF). At the SSPF, the ELM-PS will be processed and then prepared for launch. Function tests are also planned as part of the processing. The ELM-PS will be the first component of Kibo launched. Kibo's components will be launched by three separate space shuttle flights. The ELM-PS is currently scheduled for launch to the International Space Station (ISS) towards the end of this year (2007).

Arrival in the US (March 12, 2007)

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Kibo ELM-PS arriving at Port Canaveral

Leaving Yokohama Port (February 7, 2007)

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Ocean-going vessel leaving the Yokohama Port
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ELM-PS transferred from a domestic vessel to an ocean-going vessel.

Leaving Tsuchiura (January 26, 2007)

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River barge leaving the New Tsuchiura Port (The ELM-PS was transferred to a domestic vessel at Choshi Port and then shipped to Yokohama Port.)
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Preparing for departure

Leaving TKSC (January 26, 2007)

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ELM-PS leaving TKSC for the New Tsuchiura Port

Preparation for departure from TKSC (December 21, 2006 to January 25, 2007)

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ELM-PS loaded onto a trailer.
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ELM-PS secured in a shipping container.

Transporting the Kibo RMS

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Installation testing (Courtesy of NASA)

The Kibo RMS was shipped from TKSC on January 12, 2007. The RMS was loaded into a cargo aircraft at Narita International Airport. The RMS was then transported by air to the United States. The RMS arrived at KSC on January 15. After arrival, the RMS was transferred to the SSPF.

At the SSPF, the Kibo RMS is undergoing preparation for launching including installation tests with the Kibo Pressurized Module (PM). The Kibo RMS will be launched during FY 2007 as part of the second of three flights that will launch the Kibo components.

Arrival at KSC (January 15, 2007)

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Kibo RMS, arriving at KSC

Departure from Narita Airport (January 14, 2007)

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Departing Narita Airport
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Loading the Kibo RMS into the cargo aircraft

Departure from TKSC (January 13, 2007)

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Kibo RMS being transported to Narita Airport

Preparing the Kibo RMS for shipping (From December 15, 2006 to January 12, 2007)

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Kibo RMS loaded onto a trailer.
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Kibo RMS secured in a shipping container.

Transportation of Experiment Racks

The RYUTAI rack and the SAIBO rack, which are experiment racks to be installed inside the Kibo PM, were shipped to the United States. The RYUTAI rack left TKSC on December 18, 2006, and arrived at KSC on January 8, 2007. The RYUTAI rack contains the Fluid Physics Experiment Facility (FPEF), the Solution/Protein Crystal growth Facility (SPCF),* and the Image Processing Unit (IPU). The SAIBO rack left TKSC on February 8, 2007 and arrived at KSC on February 19, 2007. The SAIBO rack contains the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) and the Clean Bench (CB).

After arriving at KSC, the two racks were processed for launch, including being tested to ensure that they can be installed within the Kibo PM. The RYUTAI and SAIBO racks will be launched and installed in the Kibo ELM-PS.

* The SPCF consists of the Solution Crystallization Observation Facility (SCOF) and the Protein Crystallization Research Facility (PCRF).

Shipping of the RYUTAI rack (December 13, 2006 to January 8, 2007)

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Arrival at KSC
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Departure from TKSC
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RYUTAI rack loaded onto a trailer.
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RYUTAI rack secured in a shipping container.

Shipping of the SAIBO rack (February 8, 2007 to February 19, 2007)

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Arrival at KSC
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Departure from TKSC
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SAIBO rack loaded onto a trailer.

Kibo presentation to the media.

Kibo components were introduced to the press on November 28, 2006 at TKSC.

At the presentation, Kichiro Imagawa, Project Manager of the JEM Development Project Team, and Tai Nakamura, Senior Engineer at the Space Environment Utilization Center, gave a presentation covering Kibo and Kibo's experiment racks. The flight models of the Kibo ELM-PS, Kibo RMS and Kibo's experiment racks, which were almost ready for shipping to the US, as well as the Kibo Exposed Facility (EF) flight model, which will be shipped in a year, and the Kibo PM and the Kibo ELM-ES engineering models, were on display for the press.

Since this would be the last opportunity for the Kibo ELM-PS and the Kibo RMS to be on display in Japan, the event was attended by a large number of journalists.

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Components on display for the press
Last Updated: March 27, 2007

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