Tuesday, March 11, 2008

STS-123 Shuttle Endeavour Night Launch


Space shuttle Endeavour thundered into orbit early Tuesday morning carrying seven astronauts and Japan's dreams for a space-based laboratory at the International Space Station.

STS-123 MISSION SUMMARY
The STS-123 mission will carry two new components to the
International Space Station: the first section of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory and the Canadian Space Agency's two-armed robotic system, known as Dextre.
The Japanese Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section, or ELM-PS, will hold experiment samples, maintenance tools and other spare items. Dextre can be attached to the station’s robotic arm to handle smaller components typically requiring a spacewalking astronaut. At the tip of each arm is a "hand" that consists of retractable jaws used to grip objects.
Endeavour's 16-day flight is the longest shuttle mission to the station and will include five spacewalks. The shuttle also will deliver a new crew member and bring back another one after a seven-week mission.

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