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About Kibo

Major Component

Last Updated: August 29, 2008

Japan's first manned space activities facility


Kibo configuration

Kibo consists of six components as follows.

Experiment modules: Logistics modules: Robotic arm: Intercommunication system:

To make maximum use of its limited space, Kibo possesses every function required to perform experiment activities in space. The design concept of Kibo is truly an “all-in-one configuration”.

Pressurized Module

Pressurized Module

The Pressurized Module (PM) is Kibo's main experiment facility. All the systems necessary for Kibo operations are installed in the PM. Most crew activities related to Kibo, such as experiments, robotic operations, and voice communications with the ground, are mainly performed in or from the PM.

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Exposed Facility

Exposed Facility

The Exposed Facility (EF) provides a multipurpose platform where science experiments can be operated in the exposed environment in space.

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Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section


The Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (ELM-PS) is an on-orbit logistics pressurized facility that provides stowage space for experiment payloads, samples, and spare items.

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Experiment Logistics Module-Exposed Section


The Experiment Logistics Module-Exposed Section (ELM-ES) is attached to the end of the EF and provides a storage space for EF payloads. Up to three EF payloads can be stored on the ELM-ES.

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Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System


The Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) is a robotic arm that is used for exchanging or handling payloads and Orbital Replacement Units (ORUs) on the EF. The JEMRMS consists of the Main Arm and the Small Fine Arm, which both have six articulating joints. The Main Arm is used for handling EF payloads. The Small Fine Arm handles smaller items.

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Inter-orbit Communication System


The Inter-orbit Communication System (ICS) is Japan's unique intercommunication system to uplink or downlink data, images and voice data between Kibo and the Mission Control Room at the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC) through the Japanese Data Relay Test Satellite (DRTS), known as Kodama.

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