Kibo Japanese Experiment Module

 - Mar 14, 2008
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Japanese astronomers have officially launched Kibo, an experiment that will allow the conduction of medical research in space.

"The Japanese Experiment Module, or JEM, called Kibo -- which means "hope" in Japanese -- is Japan's first human space facility and enhances the unique research capabilities of the International Space Station," according to NASA.

The first components of the module were installed today. Their hope is that the space technology will be the platform for discovering new medicines for use on Earth.

"Japan's Kibo is to house about 100 experiments that could aid the development of medications and test new materials in weightlessness," EarthTimes reported.

Astronauts prepared components on the US space shuttle Endeavour for the International Space Station (ISS). The Endeavour crew teamed with Takao Doi, the same Japanese astronaut who wants to experiments with boomerangs in space to see how physics apply at zero gravity.

The shuttle's mission will last 16 days, returning to Earth on March 26.