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About Kibo

Transportation to NASA

Last Updated: September 25, 2008

Kibo ELM-PS being shipped from Space Station Test Building at TKSC

Kibo ELM-PS being shipped from Space Station Test Building at TKSC

Japanese Experiment Module's (Kibo's) elements which have been collected in Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC) will be transported to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, USA for launch by the Space Shuttle.

The transportation procedure for Kibo is being studied considering the followin point;

  • Export procedures are required since Kibo will be transported abroad.
  • Maximum size of containers is 5m x 5m x 13m, and the maximum weight is 20 tons, which means that transportation will be a major event.
  • Unpredictable shocks could damage devices, so packaging and moving need special attention.

Under those conditions, transportation procedures, methods and routes for transportation are being studied.

(1) Transportation method
If aircraft are not used, a ship will be used to transport Kibo. After costs ,time, security factors, and so on are being studied, the most suitable method will be selected.
(2) Transportation route
The truck route requires most attention when a transportation route is considered. Many tens of items must be checked including road curvature and width or bridge size; if only one item is unsatisfactory, another route must be considered.

Once Kibo is transported to the US, it will not be easy to return it to Japan. To make sure that Kibo has been properly completed, a test review meeting will be held when the series of tests being conducted in TKSC is completed. When all criteria have been satisfied Kibo will be loaded into containers.

Kibo Pressurized Module (PM) was shipped from TKSC in April 2003 and arrived at KSC in June 2003. In the timeframe from December 2006 through March 2007, Kibo Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (ELM-PS), JEM Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) and Kibo Payloads (SAIBO rack and RYUTAI rack) have been shipped from TKSC to KSC.

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