|Volume: 06, Issue: 06||06/18/2008|
Discovery’s Mission a SuccessNavy Commander Mark E. Kelly led the STS-124 shuttle mission to deliver the Pressurized Module and robotic arm of the Japanese Experiment Module, known as "Kibo" (hope), to the International Space Station. Navy Commander Kenneth T. Ham served as the pilot. Mission specialists included NASA astronauts Karen L. Nyberg; Air Force Col. Ronald J. Garan Jr.; and Air Force Reserve Col. Michael E. Fossum. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide also served as a mission specialist.
Astronaut Gregory E. Chamitoff flew to the station as a mission specialist on STS-124. He took Astronaut Garrett E. Reisman's place as an Expedition 17 flight engineer and will return to Earth on shuttle mission STS-126.
The STS-124 mission was the second of three flights that will launch components to complete the Kibo laboratory. The mission included three spacewalks. The lab's logistics module, which was installed in a temporary location during STS-123, was attached to the new lab.
Following their successful mission, the seven-member STS-124 crew returned to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston on June 15 where they were treated to a welcoming ceremony. STS-124 was the 26th shuttle mission to the International Space Station. With space shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission successfully completed, NASA is turning its attention to evaluating and repairing damage to Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A.
During Discovery's May 31 liftoff, the east wall of the pad's north flame trench suffered damage, with broken sections of the wall scattered from the flame trench to the pad perimeter fence.
The pad is expected to be repaired by October, when the crew of STS-125 is targeted to launch aboard space shuttle Atlantis on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
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