Japan is teaching the spacefaring nations of the world a valuable lesson with its Kibo experiment module: Make a plan, and stick with it. Even before Russia joined the “Space Station Freedom” development in the 1990s, Japanese engineers liked to joke that they started with the smallest module in the station design and wound up with the largest without changing its size. The basic design Japan chose while its partners were downsizing to meet budget constraints is in orbit today, ...

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