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    ISS Missions 1998-2006[Old]

    ISS Elements: Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) - "Kibo"

    The Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), also known by the name "Kibo", is a module built by Japan's National Space Development Agency (NASDA). JEM has the prime function of supporting a wide range of life science and materials processing research and development experiments. The JEM has three main components: the JEM Pressurized Module (JEM-PM); the JEM Pressurized Section (JEM-ELM-PS), and the JEM Exposed Facility (JEM-EF). These three components will be launched to the ISS between 2004 and 2005.

    JEM Pressurized Module

    The JEM-PM is a lab module similar in design and function to the U.S. Lab and the Columbus APM. The JEM-PM is 11.2 m (36.7 ft) long and 4.4 m (14.4 ft) wide. The JEM-PM has a total of 23 racks - 10 of which are ISPR rack locations for research payloads. Of these 10 ISPR locations, 5 are allocated for NASA use. In addition to the standard utilities required for ISPR locations, JEM also offers a unique payload cooling system and can supply carbon dioxide, argon, and helium gas to some rack locations.

    The remaining 13 JEM-PM racks are for JEM systems hardware and storage. JEM-PM is designed to routinely handle a working crew of 2 but can support up to 4 crew members at a time.

    NASDA is developing equipment that provides general support for a variety of experiments the JEM-PM. This collection of hardware comprises 5 racks and is referred to as the JEM's "Multiuser Experiment Facility". The Multiuser Experiment Facility includes 5 experiment racks with a refrigerator-freezer and stowage locations.

    The JEM-PM also features a cylindrical airlock which can be used to move equipment in and out of the module and to change out samples on the JEM Exposed Facility. The maximum size of an object that can pass through this airlock is 576 x 830 x 800 mm.

    JEM Pressurized Section

    The JEM-ELM-PS module is the same diameter as the JEM-PM - 4.4 m (14.4 ft) wide - but is shorter - 4.2 m (13.7 ft) long. The JEM-ELM-PS has 8 rack locations dedicated to storage and will be docked to the top of the JEM-PM.

    JEM Exposed Facility

    The JEM Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) (also know as JEM's "back porch") is an unpressurized pallet structure directly exposed to the space environment. The JEM-EF has a design life of 10 years and is designed to support payloads ranging from communications and space science to engineering, material processing, and earth observation. The JEM-EF is 6m x 5m x 4m (20 ft x 16.7 ft x 13.3 ft) and weighs approximately 4,000 kg (8,890 lb) at launch. The JEM-EF will be attached to the JEM-PM by means of the Exposed Facility Berthing Mechanism (EFBM). The Equipment Exchange Unit (EEU) will allow up to 10 JEM-EF experiment payloads to be connected to the JEM-EF.

    The JEM-EF has a standard payload envelope of 1.85m x 1.0m x 0.8m (6.2 ft x 3.3 ft x 2.7 ft) and weighs 500 kg (1,110 lb). The JEM-EF provides payloads with electric power, circulates coolant, and has data interfaces. JEM-ES is equipped with Payload Attachment Mechanisms (PAMs) which serve to secure experiment payloads. The PAMs also support attaching and detaching payloads on orbit by a manipulator. Each PAM has an electric connector which supplies power for heating experiment payloads. The JEM-EF also has a TV camera, light, and a Pan/Tilt unit. This video capability is used on the ISS and on Earth to monitor various activities on the JEM-EF - especially when the JEM-RMS arm is being used to move items around on the JEM-EF.

    JEM Remote Manipulator System

    The JEM-EF has a Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), a 32.5 foot (10 m) long robot arm, that allows items to be added, removed or adjusted on the JEM-EF. The JEMRMS is to be delivered to orbit along with the JEM-PM aboard mission ISS-1J. The JEMRMS actually has two arms, each with different functions. The primary arm, which is usually what is referred to as the "JEMRMS", is the large structure used to move experimental hardware around. A small arm capable of fine manipulation (SFA) will be attached to the end of JEMRMS when needed for fine manipulation tasks. The SFA will be stowed on the JEM-EF when not in use.

    Both the Main JEM RMS arm and the SFA have six joints and allow movement similar to that of a human arm. The JEMRMS is controlled by astronauts inside the JEM-PM using imagery from the TV cameras mounted on the JEM-EF and the JEMRMS.

    A small robotic arm very similar to the SFA was flown as a flight test on STS-85 in 1997 and performed according to plan. Remote robotic operations procedures were also tested during the flight of the Japanese Engineering Test Satellite-7 (EST-7) mission in 1997.

    JEM Elements Launch Schedule

    Three Shuttle missions will be required to get the JEM-PM, JEM-ELM-PS and JEM-EF into orbit. Although the JEM-ELM-PS is primarily dedicated to stowage it will be the first of the three JEM components to be launched. The JEM-ELM-PS will be launched aboard mission ISS-1J/A in 2004 carrying 4 systems racks, 1 stowage rack, and 3 experiment racks. The JEM-ELM-PS will be temporarily attached to the zenith (upper) docking port of Node 2 using a Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM).

    When the JEM-PM is launched aboard mission ISS-1J a few months later in 2004 and docked to the Node 2, the JEM-ELM-PS will be moved to its location atop the JEM-PM. The JEM will use two CBMs - one to dock the JEM-PM with the ISS and the other to dock JEM-ELM-PS to the JEM-PM. The JEM-EF will be launched on ISS-2J/A in 2005 along with external experiments carried in a Japanese exterior logistics carrier.


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