In this answer I saw Figure 35 of the encyclopaedic ISS Interface Mechanisms and their Heritage and from the link I saw Figure 37, and I've included both below (click for larger size).

What are these giant boxes or volumes to which these smaller things are docked? Where are they (in the photos), and what is are they for? They look too large to be a mock-up for the ISS or the Shuttle!

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The top device holds the "porch" to the JEM. The bottom device holds experiments to the "porch". $\endgroup$ Commented May 29, 2019 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble In the top image (Fig. 35) a square box covered in white connects to the JEM, and a silver round box connects to the white square box. When the porch connects, do both of these stay in place and the porch connects to the round one? Hang on, I think I am going to ask this separately in about 3 minutes... $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, there is a fitting on the porch that mates with the round fitting. $\endgroup$ Commented May 29, 2019 at 0:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here is a picture of the shuttle arm holding the porch. The corresponding fitting is visible commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:STS-127_JEM-EF.jpg $\endgroup$ Commented May 29, 2019 at 0:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ After this morning's fiasco I'm swearing off posting answers till I get home. $\endgroup$ Commented May 29, 2019 at 1:51

1 Answer 1


Fig. 35 View showing active EFBM

The "JPM/C2-09" marker is a dead giveaway: Its Kibo! JPM here means "JEM Pressurized Module" (with JEM being Japanese Experiment Module, the original name of Kibo).

Here is a good image showing Kibo, taken in the Space Station Processing Facility, where it rests on a workstand during pre-assembly measurement activities on Nov. 5th, 2003:

Kibo Module

You can clearly see the "JPM/C2-09" label and the overall similarity.

Fig. 37 View showing EFU

The second image shows The JEM Exposed Facility (EF), and the port is an Exposed Facility Unit (EFU) used to dock experiments to the JEM-EF.

The EF can be seen in this schematic:

Kibo Schematic

Your confusion likely stems from the fact that the EFBM (Exposed Facility berthing Mechanism) is substantially smaller then the CBM which is used to dock Kibo to the ISS. Without a good scale reference in the cropped image, the module looks far bigger then it is.

  • $\begingroup$ I am sorry i edited your answer, i will fix asap. Damn mobile app. $\endgroup$ Commented May 28, 2019 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble No worries, mistakes happen. I've rerolled the revision. $\endgroup$
    – Polygnome
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 13:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh From the image description: "In the Space Station Processing Facility, the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) rests on a workstand during pre-assembly measurement activities. Developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the JEM will enhance the unique research capabilities of the orbiting complex by providing an additional environment for astronauts to conduct science experiments." Taken on 5th of November 2003. $\endgroup$
    – Polygnome
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 6:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @uhoh I already edited that in directly after I made the comment, its the image description on wikipedia which the image is hyperlinked to. I am not entirely sure when the image in your document was taken, but if you look at the background (especially the black panels and the green-ish lower portion of the wall) it seems to be taken on the same stand, but from closer to the module making the angle steeper. I can not say when or in which facility the second of your images was taken, but logic would suggest the date is somewhat close together. $\endgroup$
    – Polygnome
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 9:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The pictures appear to have been taken in the SSPF - the Space Station Processing Facility - at Kennedy Space Center. The big US flag is familiar and would probably rule out a JAXA facility. $\endgroup$ Commented May 29, 2019 at 21:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.