The International Space Station unites with Hope

The Japanese module Kibo (from the Japanese word 希望 (kibou), or hope), was attached to the ISS today. Developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), it is the largest compartment on the station, and will be dedicated primarily to medical experiments. The other two compartments were supplied by the U.S.-based NASA and the European Space Agency.

More information on Kibo can be found here.

Another interesting tidbit from the BBC article above: the International Space Station is scheduled to be completed in 2010, at which time the current space shuttle orbiter fleet will be retired. The replacement? The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, which NASA hopes may be ready by 2013. This craft is meant not only to carry astronauts to the ISS, but also to the Moon and beyond. It’s all pretty exciting, but I have my reservations about manned space flight to other planets. Maybe I’ll explore that in another post.

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