Astronaut Gregory E. Chamitoff is scheduled to fly to the station as a mission specialist on STS-124. He will take Astronaut Garrett E. Reisman's place as an Expedition Seventeen flight engineer and return to Earth on shuttle mission STS-126.
The STS-124 mission is the second of three flights that will launch components to complete the Kibo laboratory. The mission will include two spacewalks to install the new lab and its remote manipulator system. The lab's logistics module, which will have been installed in a temporary location during STS-123, will be attached to the new lab.
Several Detailed Supplementary Objectives (DSOs) and Supplemental Medical Objectives (SMOs) will also be flown during the STS-124 mission. DSOs and SMOs are space and life sciences investigations. Their purpose is to determine the extent of physiological deconditioning resulting from space flight, test countermeasures to those changes, and characterize the environment of the Space Shuttle and/or space station relative to crew health. Experiments being performed during this mission are:
This flight will be the orbiter's 35th mission and the 123rd in the Shuttle program's history.