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Japanese Experiment Module Kibo's Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section to arrive at Tsukuba Space Center !

Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo"
Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo"
Japanese Experiment Module Kibo's Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (ELM-PS) was transported to Tsukuba Space Center from May 13 to 18, 2000 to undergo system testing.

Experiment Logistics Module
-Pressurized Section
The Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (ELM-PS) is used to store maintenance tools used inside Kibo, experiment materials, and spare parts for equipment malfunctions. The ELM-PS has a 1 atmosphere environment to allow astronauts to work in shirt-sleeve conditions.
Kibo will be launched on three different Space Shuttle flights from 2006 to 2007. The ELM-PS will be launched on the first flight. On this flight, eight racks, including system racks, experiment racks, and storage racks (*1) that will be transferred to the Kibo's Pressurized Module (PM) later on orbit, will be stored in the ELM-PS. ELM-PS will be temporarily attached to the US module. After the PM arrives at the International Space Station (ISS), the ELM-PS will be moved to the top of the PM as designed, and the astronauts will transfer the system racks and experiment racks from the ELM-PS into the PM. When those racks are moved from the ELM-PS vacant spaces will be left. These spaces will be filled with supply goods in the future when they are transferred to the ISS by Space Shuttles or by Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV).

(*1) Kibo's ELM-PS can store eight racks. The standard of the racks are specified by an international agreement. Kibo's equipment that controls temperature and humidity, distributes electric power, and performs other functions will be located on the system rack. Various experiment equipment will be located on the experiment racks.

ELM-PS was transported at midnight
Arriving at the Tsukuba Space Center early in the morning
Kibo's ELM-PS was manufactured in the Tobishima Factory of Mitsubishi Heavy Industry (MHI) located in Nagoya city, Aichi prefecture, the same factory where Kibo's pressurized module was manufactured. The completed ELM-PS cleared the Nagoya port on May 13 on its way to Cyoushi port in Chiba prefecture over the sea. It was then transported along a river to port Tsuchiura in Ibaraki prefecture and arrived there in the midnight of May 17. A trailer truck was used from the Tsuchiura port to the Tsukuba Space Center and arrived at the Center in the early morning of May 18.
Much attention should be paid during transportation along the road because the container is very big. In fact, it is 5 meters wide, which requires two lanes of the road. Furthermore, the trailer is over five meters high, so attention to ensure that it will not hit the traffic signals or pedestrian bridges. In addition,since the ELM-PS is fragile, it must be carried carefully at the speed of walking, so as not to subjet it to shock. For these reasons, applying traffic regulations, ELM-PS was transported at midnight when there was less traffic in order to reduce impacts.

ELM-PS carried in Tsukuba Space CenterDocking surface with the Pressurized Module

Future Schedule
The ELM-PS will be tested in various ways. A thermal balance test will be conducted using a vacuum chamber to confirm that it can maintain its internal temperature within the specified range. Module leakage tests will be conducted to confirm that air leakage stays within the specified level. Off gas test will guarantee that no harmful gas comes off from the materials used for the ELM-PS. After these tests have been finished, a total system test will be conducted. The ELM-PS will then be shipped to the Kennedy Space Center to be launched by a Space Shuttle in March 2006.

Last Updated : Apr. 7, 2003

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