Saturday, June 7, 2008

Japan's space lab about to get bigger

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The space station's huge new Japanese lab got even bigger Friday when the astronauts attached an attic to it for extra storage.

The attic — essentially a 14-foot shed, or closet, for spare tools and equipment — was popped atop the 37-foot Kibo science laboratory by astronauts operating the international space station's robot arm.

Even before Friday's addition, the billion-dollar, bus-size Kibo was the biggest room at the space station.

The attic had been in a temporary location at the space station since March. There wasn't enough room on a space shuttle to fit both the attic and lab, so NASA split them into two flights. The third and final Japanese section, a porch for outdoor experiments, will be launched next spring.

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