STS-123 -- Mission to the International Space Station
The crew members of space shuttle mission STS-123 have completed their mission! They launched on the space shuttle Endeavour on March 11, 2008. They returned to Earth on March 26, 2008.
This crew was on an important mission to the International Space Station. The crew members added two pieces of equipment to the space station. The first was a module that was built by Japan. The second was a robot nicknamed Dextre that was built in Canada. This robot will help the astronauts living on the space station to perform tasks out in space.
Seven crew members were on this mission. Commander Dominic Gorie flew his third mission on space shuttle Endeavour. Mission Specialist Rick Linnehan had flown on three space shuttle missions before this one. During those missions, he flew around Earth almost 700 times!
Astronaut Takao Doi is a member of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. STS-123 was his second space shuttle mission. He was the first person to enter the new Japanese module after it was connected to the space station.
STS-123 was the first time Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and mission specialists Robert L. Behnken and Mike Foreman had flown in space. Johnson undocked the space shuttle from the space station at the end of the mission. Behnken and Foreman performed three spacewalks during the mission.
STS-123 was also the first flight for Mission Specialist Garrett Reisman. He stayed on the International Space Station as part of the Expedition 16 and 17 crews. He will live and work on the space station for about three months. He will return to Earth with the STS-124 crew.
The STS-123 crew also brought European Space Agency astronaut Léopold Eyharts back to Earth from the space station. He is from France. Eyharts had been living on the International Space Station since Feb. 9, 2008.
Before going into space, the STS-123 crew members designed a patch to describe their mission. The STS-123 crew patch shows the space shuttle in orbit. The names of the crew members are around the edge of the patch. The patch shows the two items that were added to the space station by this crew. On the right side of the patch, the Japanese module is being held by the shuttle's robotic arm. The Canadian robot Dextre is seen on the left side. The space station is shown in the background.
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