May 31, 2008

Space Shuttle Launches Largest ISS Lab Yet

At 5:02pm, the shuttle launched into space carrying with it the $1 billion Kibo laboratory. The laboratory will be the largest room in the ISS yet, and is approximately the size of a tour bus.

Kibo, Japanese for "Hope", is culmination of 20 years of research and development by the Japanese. This section marks the unofficial start of a collaboration that is turning out to be very international indeed. It is a great symbol of Japanese pride, and should be.

I personally am very excited for the Kibo, and that the Japanese are coming aboard the ISS in a very big way. As an American citizen, I recognize that we sometimes have a severe superiority complex about our nation being the "best", but I'm excited for the Japanese, because to make true progress in the realm of space travel we need to work globally and not nationally.

Congratulations Japan!