Encyclopedia Astronautica
NASDA Japanese Experiment Module



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NASDA JEM 1999
Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos
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NASDA JEM 1999
Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos
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NASDA JEM
NASDA Japanese Experiment Module. Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).
Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos
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Inside NASDA JEM
Inside Japanese Experiment Module. Like the other International Space Station modules, the interior of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) consists of modular refrigerator-sized "payload racks." JEM has twelve such racks but some are required for the module's internal functions. Five racks are available for experiments.
Credit: NASDA via Marcus Lindroos
Japanese manned space station module. Launched to ISS in three sections, 2008-2009. The Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) has been a rare island of stability in the often tumultuous Space Station program.

Conceived in 1985, JEM consists of a pressurized laboratory mainly dedicated to advanced technology experiments, a logistics module, an unpressurized pallet for vacuum experiments in space plus a small robotic arm. The Japanese National Space Development Agency (NASDA) formally submitted the JEM proposal to NASA in March 1986. The Japanese Space Activities Commission recommended formal participation in the Space Station project five months later and the JEM design changed little since the mid-1980s.

In 1986 the Japanese contribution was estimated to be worth $1.9-3.2 billion for a JEM launch in 1995. By 1990, the schedule had slipped by three years due to NASA budget cuts and Space Station cost overruns. The delays increased the JEM's total cost slightly, from $2.3 billion in 1986 to $2.63 billion in 1993, when the launch was postponed to 1999. Final hardware production began in the mid-1990s and the Japanese robotic arm was tested on a NASA Space Shuttle flight in August 1997. According to plans prior to the Columbia disaster, the JEM would be launched in 2002-03. As of 2007 it appeared the facility would be orbited in 2008.

Like the other International Space Station modules, the interior of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) consisted of modular refrigerator-sized 'payload racks.' JEM had twelve such racks but some were required for the module's internal functions. Five racks were available for experiments.

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • International Space Station American manned space station. Development from 1994. Assembled in orbit from 1998, with completion expected 2010. In 1987-1993 the Russians successfully assembled and operated the 124-metric ton Mir station. More...

See also
  • US Space Stations Wernher von Braun brought Noordung's rotating station design with him from Europe. This he popularized in the early 1950's in selling manned space flight to the American public. By the late 1950's von Braun's team favoured the spent-stage concept - which eventually flew as Skylab. By the mid-1960's, NASA was concentrating on modular, purpose-built, zero-G stations. These eventually flew as the International Space Station. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Shuttle American winged orbital launch vehicle. The manned reusable space system which was designed to slash the cost of space transport and replace all expendable launch vehicles. It did neither, but did keep NASA in the manned space flight business for 30 years. Redesign of the shuttle with reliability in mind after the Challenger disaster reduced maximum payload to low earth orbit from 27,850 kg to 24,400 kg. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASDA Japanese agency overseeing development of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. National Space Development Agency, Japan. More...

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