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Kibo Installed
June 3, 2008

Today was a significant day for the ISS. The Japanese reserach module, Kibo, was finally added to the station. It's the largest research module, and represents the third research module to be added to the station. The United States, Europe, and Japan, all now have research modules up and running on the station. And so, with the addition of Kibo, the ISS truly becomes international.

For me personally, the ISS now feels relatively "complete". What an amazing accomplishment!

I watched a NASA TV program on the STS-124 mission, and it was fascinating to listen to this guy's mission brief. He gives some background of his involvement with the mission, as well as his Japanese counterpart's background with the mission: All the way back to 1998. That's 20 years, pretty much a lifetime of work for these two specific people, helping to make this research module a reality. Wow.

Kibo has an impressive feature sheet: The largest module, being 32,500 lbs, 32 feet long and 15 feet wide. It has its own robotic arm, its own airlock, and an exposed facility for experiments in the vacuum of space. It's pretty much its own space station!

Congratulations Japan!

Video of opening the module for the first time

Cool photo from Phoenix Lander descent
June 1, 2008

Discovery blasts off
May 31, 2008

Another successful shuttle launch today. I tuned in about 3 minutes too late, but saw the later half of the ride to orbit. It never ceases to amaze me... what an amazing piece of machinery the shuttle is. I'll sure miss it when it's retired.

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