NASA/Associated Press
Shuttle Discovery is set to launch tomorrow afternoon for a 14-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS). By far, the largest share of its cargo payload consists of a 37-foot- (11-meter-) long, 14.4-foot- (4.4-meter-) wide cylindrical Japanese-built science lab known as Kibo, or "hope". Kibo is so big and bulky that on the last mission to the ISS in April, the shuttle crew brought much of the module's equipment with them in advance. That included a robotic arm designed to operate experiments on Kibo's external platform (a "back porch" of sorts), scheduled for delivery to the station next year. The mission"”the 123rd in the history of the shuttle program"”will include three spacewalks to begin installing Kibo and to continue examining a damaged rotary joint, incapacitated since last year, that would normally maintain position of one the station's solar panels to keep it faced to the sun. And in a last-minute addition to the payload, Discovery will carry a Russian-made toilet pump to fix the sole commode on the ISS, which stopped collecting liquid waste last week and was still not working 100 percent this week.