The Japanese Experiment Module, Kibo (meaning "hope" in Japanese), is scheduled to be launched and installed on the International Space Station beginning in March 2008. It will require three shuttle flights to get all the components in place.
This drawing shows the four components of Kibo.
Pressurized Module (PM)
The Pressurized Module will accommodate up to four astronauts performing experimental activities in a shirt sleeve environment. The atmosphere and pressure will be like that on the Earth surface. It has ten experiment racks, environmental controls, console for control of the Remote Manipulator System, and an airlock for exchanges between the Pressurized Module and the Exposed Facility.
Exposed Facility (EF)
The Exposed Facility provides a space where experiments in Earth observation, communications, engineering, or materials studies may be performed outside the space station in the vacuum of space. The space is available not only to Japanese experiments, but is open for international use.
Experimental Logistics Module (ELM)
This module has two components - a Pressurized Section and an Exposed Section. The Pressurized Section will be mainly used as a storage facility. It can also be used as a transportation container, being detached from the station and returned to Earth, later being relaunched into space with cargo. The Exposed Section will connect to the Exposed Facility and used for storage. Like the Pressurized Section, it too can be returned to Earth and later be relaunched with cargo.
Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS)
The Remote Manipulator System is a robotic arm used to move experiments back and forth between the Pressurized Module and the Exposed Facility. It will also aid astronauts in handling experiments in the Exposed Facility. The system consists of a main arm and a small fine arm. The main arm is used for handling large items, while the fine arm is for delicate tasks.
There is also an Inter-orbit Communication System (ICS) attached to the Exposed Facility. The ICS will be used to communicate with the H-II Transfer Vehicle as it approaches the space station.
The Experiment Logistics Module - Pressurized Section was
The Pressurized Module and Remote Manipulator System was launched on STS-124.
The Exposed Facility and Experiment Logistics Module - Exposed Section will be launched on STS-127.