The Crew

(STS124-S-002 - 25 Sept. 2007) --- These seven astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-124 crew portrait. From the left are astronauts Gregory E. Chamitoff, Michael E. Fossum, both STS-124 mission specialists; Kenneth T. Ham, pilot; Mark E. Kelly, commander; Karen L. Nyberg, Ronald J. Garan and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Akihiko Hoshide, all mission specialists. Chamitoff is scheduled to join Expedition 17 as flight engineer after launching to the International Space Station on mission STS-124.

STS-124 art

(STS124-S-001 - October 2007) --- The STS-124/1J patch depicts the Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station (ISS). STS-124/1J is dedicated to delivering and installing the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) known as Kibo (Hope) to the ISS. The significance of the mission and the Japanese contribution to the ISS is recognized by the Japanese flag depicted on the JEM Pressurized Module (JPM) and the word Kibo written in Japanese at the bottom of the patch. The view of the sun shining down upon the Earth represents the increased "hope" that the entire world will benefit from the JEM's scientific discoveries. The JPM will be the largest habitable module on the ISS and is equipped with its own airlock and robotic arm for external experiments. In addition to delivering and installing the JPM, the STS-124 crew will relocate the JEM Logistics Pressurized (JLP) module to its permanent home on the zenith side of the JPM. During three planned space walks, the crew will perform external ISS maintenance and JPM outfitting, as well as extensive robotic operations by the ISS, space shuttle, and JEM robotic arms. It will be the first time that three different robotic arms will be operated during a single space flight mission.

STS-124 payload

(jsc2008e027702) The official payload patch for STS-124, ISS 1J mission.

(March 31, 2007 Official JAXA KIBO logo for STS124-1J mission).

Kibo is an International Space Station (ISS) module which JAXA operates with the ISS Program. Kiboís functions are similar to the other ISS experiment modules including the Destiny and Columbus laboratories. However, Kibo has been designed with distinctive characteristics. Kibo is a complex facility that consists of several components and possesses every function thatís required to conduct experiment activities in space. Kibo facilitates experiment activities on orbit. However, Kiboís utilization is not limited to on-orbit experiments. JAXA plans on expanding the opportunities for extensive utilization of the space environment, including cultural and educational activities. The six Kibo elements are 1) the Pressurized Module (PM), 2) the Exposed Facility (EF), 3) the Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (ELM-PS), 4) the Experiment Logistics Module-Exposed Section (ELM-ES), 5) the Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) and 6) the Inter-Orbit Communication System (ICS). The ELM-PS, the PM, the JEMRMS and the pressurized part of the ICS were delivered and installed on the ISS during the STS-123 (1J/A) and STS-124 (1J) The rests of the components, the EF and the ELM-ES are scheduled to join the ISS in 2009.

STS-124 fun

This funny alternate STS-124 patch was made by Jay Chladek in May of 2008. He writes on the Cs forum:

"I think the ghost of Wally Schirra was whispering in my ear when I came up with this. Anyway, it is the STS-124 mission patch, after subtle alteration to signify a new mission goal for the crew, successful delivery of new componants to fix the balky toilet on the ISS. I thought about a plunger, but I figured that wasn't subtle enough while most everyone in the western world knows what a white roll of paper represents.

It still says Kibo on the bottom of the patch at least. Believe me I thought long and hard about how the Japanese might react before posting this. But seeing as how the Japanese do have a healthy sense of humor, I figured they would have gotten the jist of the joke as well as the rest of us. I also did the patch as something of a metaphor about how the press will cover this mission anyway. When the time comes for the in orbit press conferences, how many questions will be fielded in regards to Kibo from the western press versus how many in regards to "if the toilet got fixed?" So the patch kind of serves two purposes, humor on one level and editorial comment on another."

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