Japanese Cargo Craft Chasing Space Station

Astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren
Astronauts Kimiya Yui and Kjell Lindgren train for the robotic capture of Japan’s “Kounotori” HTV-5 cargo craft.

Japan’s fifth “Kounotori” cargo craft (HTV-5) is on orbit today chasing the International Space Station before Monday’s rendezvous and capture. The Expedition 44 crew is working normal science and maintenance activities today after a momentary power loss to some station systems Wednesday afternoon.

The HTV-5 is delivering science gear to support several experiments including the CALET dark matter study and a series of 10 investigations for the Twins Study. The HTV-5 will be grappled with the Canadarm2 and berthed to the Harmony module for a month of cargo activities.

The cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko and Oleg Kononenko worked Thursday on their set of Russian maintenance and microgravity research. They explored the physics of magnetism, internet control of a robotic arm and the human digestive system.

The astronauts on the U.S. side of the space station, Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui,  had their list of daily upkeep and science tasks. More Ocular Health exams were on the schedule today as well as magnetic resonance imaging of the brain for the NeuroMapping study. The orbiting residents also worked on the maintenance of laboratory gear.

Japanese Delivery Heads to Station, Taxi Crew Checks Soyuz Systems

Japan's Fifth “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle
The fifth “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched Wednesday morning on a five-day trip to the station. Credit: JAXA

A new Japanese cargo ship is on its way to the International Space Station after a successful launch from southern Japan. Meanwhile, the Expedition 44 crew was conducting more vision and physics research.

The fifth “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched Wednesday morning on a five-day trip to the station. It is delivering more than 9,500 pounds of research and supplies for the six-person station crew.

The Expedition 44 crew conducted more eye checks for the Ocular Health study which observes microgravity’s long term effects on an astronaut’s vision. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly booted up a pair of micro-satellites for the SPHERES-Vertigo experiment that studies 3D visual inspection and navigation techniques.

Back on Earth at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, three new Soyuz taxi crew members tried on their Sokol spacesuits and checked their Soyuz systems. They will wear the spacesuits when they launch Sept. 2 on the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft for a ten day mission to the orbital laboratory.

 

Japanese HTV-5 Cargo Mission Launches and Reaches Orbit

Japan's H-IIB Rocket Launches
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s H-IIB rocket launched at 7:50 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. Credit: JAXA

Right on schedule, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s H-IIB rocket launched at 7:50 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, Aug. 19 from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. At the time of launch, the space station was flying 250 miles above the Atlantic Ocean east of Brazil.

Approximately 15 minutes after launch, the HTV-5 cargo spacecraft successfully separated from the rocket and began its five-day rendezvous with the International Space Station. The spacecraft is carrying more than 9,500 pounds of research and supplies for the six-person station crew, including the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) investigation, an astrophysics mission that will search for signatures of dark matter and provide the highest energy direct measurements of the cosmic ray electron spectrum.

JAXA and NASA teams adjusted the cargo manifest to deliver additional food supplies and critical components lost in the failure of the seventh SpaceX commercial resupply services mission. The delivery will ensure the crew has plenty of food through the end of 2015. HTV-5 is delivering two multifiltration beds that filter contaminants from the station’s water supply, a Fluids Control and Pump Assembly used for urine processing to support water recycling, a Wring Collector used in conjunction with the on-orbit toilet, a Respiratory Support Pack used in space to provide breathing assistance to an astronaut in the event lung function were impaired and space suit support equipment used during spacewalks.

On Monday, Aug. 24, JAXA Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui will use the Canadarm2 robotic arm to capture the unpiloted HTV spacecraft at approximately 6:55 a.m. NASA TV coverage Friday will begin at 5:15 a.m. NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren will provide assistance as necessary. The HTV will spend five weeks attached to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module on the international outpost.

Follow the conversation on Twitter via @Space_Station and the hashtag #HTV5. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect

Watch NASA TV Now for Live Launch of Japanese HTV-5 Cargo Mission

The Japanese H-IIB Rocket
The Japanese H-IIB rocket with the the “Kounotori” HTV-5 resupply ship rests at its launch pad at the Tanegashima Space Center. Credit: JAXA

A Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) H-IIB rocket at the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan is fueled and ready for a launch of the Kounotori H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5) at 7:50 a.m. EDT. NASA Television is providing live coverage of the launch, which can be seen at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.

The HTV-5 is loaded with more than 4.5 tons of research and supplies, including water, spare parts and experiment hardware, for the six-person International Space Station crew. The unpiloted cargo craft, named Kounotori, Japanese for “white stork,” will travel five days to reach the orbiting laboratory on Monday, Aug. 24.

Join the conversation on Twitter by following @Space_Station and the hashtag #HTV5. To learn more about all the ways to connect and collaborate with NASA, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/connect