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OTD in Space – March 11: 1st Japanese Module & 'Dextre' Robot Launch to Space Station

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On March 11, 2008, the first Japanese module of the International Space Station launched on the space shuttle Endeavour during mission STS-123. Nicknamed Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module is the largest single module on the entire space station. Its main component is about the size of a tour bus, so they couldn't launch the whole thing all at once. The remaining parts were launched later on STS-124 and STS-127. Along with the seven astronauts, STS-123 also carried a special Canadian robot to the space station. The Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator, also known as Dextre, is a huge two-armed robot that conducts repairs outside of the space station. This reduces the need for astronauts to take risky spacewalks to do the repairs themselves.

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