Ars Technica's New images of the International Space Station reveal that it is still a jewel includes the photo below and I've added a view of a side module with a collection of various rectangular packages mounted to it.

They each look relatively large, and one on the right looks like it might have a big Cassegrain-like telescope looking at us.


  1. Is this all just storage? (like this stuff) or are they all science packages doing Earth or Space observation?
  2. How did they all get there? Were they each placed by hand during an EVA or were some placed there robotically?

detail of photo of ISS shamelessly cropped and sharpened

above: detail of photo of ISS below shamelessly cropped and sharpened. below: "The International Space Station, as seen in November 2021. Prominent at center in this view are the cymbal-shaped UltraFlex solar arrays of the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter" Source: Ars Technica/NASA

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1 Answer 1


enter image description here

  • CALET - Calormetric Electron Telescope
  • ECOSTRESS - ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment
  • HISUI - Hyperspectral Imager Suite
  • GEDI - Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation
  • NREP - Nanoracks External Platform
  • CREAM - Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass
  • MAXI - "MAXI monitors the X-ray variability once every 96 minutes for more than 1,000 X-ray sources covering the entire sky on time scales from a day to a few months."
  • OCO-3 - Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3
  • iSEEP - IVA-replaceable Small Exposed Experiment Platform

(I made the images using DOUG)

All placed robotically - if you flip over to the other side of the JEM-EF, you can see all the grapple fixtures on the payloads.

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    $\begingroup$ I was looking around for an updated list or diagram of the Kibo Exposed Facility but couldnt find one. I had assumed that the boxes on the pallet changed around according to their science life span and so the list would be changing a lot - or has this been fairly static since their installation? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 22:17
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    $\begingroup$ @blobbymcblobby It's dynamic to some extent. When we installed the EF, it didn't have any payloads on it. The NASA VR lab guys keep the DOUG models up to date, so I just grabbed the latest download from there. It was last updated 3 days ago. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 22:19
  • $\begingroup$ clever things these robots $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 22:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thats great! I won't add this as an answer, but partial answer to the Q was: How did they get there? - earth.esa.int/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/i/iss-jemef contains some info on both Canadarm2 and JEM-Remote Manipulator System for example moving payloads from HTV and placing them on the EF. Same page says of 12 bays,9 available, but then says 5 for JAXA and 5 for NASA. Assuming for the size of the payloads I assume always a robotic arm that moves them about..? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ @blobbymcblobby the answer says "All placed robotically" and shows the grapple fixtures on the other side. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 15:49

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