The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)’s H-IIB rocket launched at 8:26 a.m. EST (10:26 p.m. Japan time) on Friday, Dec. 9 from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. At the time of launch, the space station was flying about 250 miles over the Philippine Sea south of Japan.
A little more than 15 minutes after launch, the HTV-6 cargo spacecraft successfully separated from the rocket and began its four-day rendezvous with the International Space Station.
On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the HTV-6 will approach the station from below, and slowly inch its way toward the complex. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will operate the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm from the station’s cupola to reach out and grapple the 12-ton spacecraft. Robotic ground controllers will then install it on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module, where it will spend more than five weeks. Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA will monitor HTV-6 systems during the rendezvous and grapple.
NASA TV coverage of the Dec. 13 rendezvous and grapple will begin at 4:30 a.m. Capture of the spacecraft is scheduled around 6 a.m. Coverage of the final installation to Harmony will resume at 9:15 a.m.
For more information on previous HTV missions from JAXA to the space station visit:
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 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-6) at 8:26 a.m. EST. NASA Television is providing live coverage of the launch, which can be seen at https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.
Loaded with more than 4.5 tons of supplies, water, spare parts and experiment hardware for the six-person station crew, the unpiloted cargo spacecraft, named “Kounotori” – the Japanese word for white stork – will set sail on a four-day flight to the station. Also aboard the resupply vehicle are six new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates that will replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used on the station to store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. These will be installed during a series of robotic operations and spacewalks between late December and mid-January.
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For more information on previous HTV missions from JAXA to the space station visit:
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scheduled to launch its H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-6 at 8:26 a.m. EST (10:26 p.m. Japan time) Friday, Dec. 9, from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The launch vehicle will send the Kounotori HTV-6 into orbit on a four-day rendezvous for an arrival at the International Space Station.
The Expedition 50 crew is getting ready for next week’s arrival and capture of Japan’s sixth resupply ship, the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-6). The six station residents also worked on a pair of spacesuits and conducted a variety of human research experiments.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is set to launch its HTV-6 resupply ship Friday at 8:26 a.m. EST from the Tanegashima Space Center. Nicknamed “Kounotori,” the HTV-6 is delivering fresh fruit, experiment hardware, Cubesats, life support gear and new lithium-ion batteries. NASA Television will broadcast the HTV-6 launch live as well as its arrival next Tuesday at 6 a.m.
The new lithium-ion batteries will replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries located on the S4 truss structure and upgrade the station’s power output. The replacement work will take place using a series of robotics maneuvers and spacewalks through mid-January.
Commander Shane Kimbrough and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet practiced next week’s HTV-6 robotic capture activities. The duo also reviewed the cargo craft’s rendezvous and approach maneuvers before its capture and installation to the Harmony module.
Kimbrough started his day with some plumbing work before scrubbing the cooling loops on two U.S. spacesuits. Pesquet assisted NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in the morning with an ultrasound scan for the Cardio Ox study that explores the long-term risk of atherosclerosis in astronauts.
Whitson then moved on to collecting gear with cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov for upcoming work on the Fluid Shifts experiment. That experiment researches the pressure an astronaut experiences on the brain and eyes. Veteran cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Oleg Novitskiy worked on numerous Russian science experiments and life support systems.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) joined their Expedition 48 crew members aboard the International Space Station officially at 2:26 a.m. EDT July 9 when the hatches opened between their Soyuz MS-01 and the space station.
Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos welcomed the trio aboard their orbital home.
In the coming months, the crewmates are scheduled to receive multiple cargo resupply flights delivering several tons of food, fuel, supplies and research.
SpaceX’s ninth commercial resupply services mission under contract with NASA is scheduled to launch to the space station no earlier than July 18 at 12:45 a.m. Research aboard the Dragon cargo spacecraft will include experiments to test the capabilities for sequencing DNA, understand bone loss, track heart changes in microgravity and regulate temperature aboard spacecraft. The first of two international docking adapters is also headed to station in Dragon’s unpressurized trunk, which will allow commercial spacecraft to dock to the station when transporting astronauts in the near future as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Williams and Rubins are scheduled to install the adapter during a spacewalk later this summer.
Rubins, Ivanishin and Onishi are scheduled to remain aboard the station until late October. Williams, Skripochka and Ovchinin will return to Earth in September.
Following 34 orbits around the Earth aboard their upgraded Soyuz spacecraft, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are scheduled to dock to the International Space Station at 12:12 a.m. EDT Saturday, July 9.
A microsatellite designed in the Philippines was deployed outside Japan’s Kibo laboratory module this morning for climate research. Inside the International Space Station, the crew continued more human research to improve the health of astronauts in space and citizens on Earth.
DIWATA-1, Filipino for “fairy”, is orbiting Earth after being released today from a satellite deployer mechanism outside the Kibo module’s airlock. The 50-kilogram-class microsatellite will observe the Earth’s climate to improve weather forecasting and natural disaster response.
The Expedition 47 crew is continuing its research today into how the lack of gravity affects the fluid shifts and pressure inside a crew member’s head. Scientists are also looking at how astronauts work with detailed, interactive tasks for the Fine Motor Skills study using a touchscreen tablet.
The space station regularly experiences stresses on its structure when spaceships dock, during spacewalks and crew exercise sessions. Researchers will look at some of the vibration data sent down by the crew today for the long-running Identification study.
Astronauts Tim Kopra of NASA and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos have boarded the Russian Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft that will carry them to the International Space Station (ISS). All is on track for lift off at 6:03 a.m. EST. NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 5 a.m. Watch on NASA TV or at: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.
The crew is scheduled to dock to the station at 12:24 p.m. after a six-hour journey. The trio will join Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Flight Engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov, both of Roscosmos, bringing the total to six crew members aboard the ISS after operating with only three crew members for four days.
The incoming crew replaces Expedition 45 Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos and Kimiya Yui of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), who all returned to Earth Dec. 11, 2015. While both Kopra and Malenchenko have previously worked aboard the orbiting laboratory, this trip marks the first for Peake.
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Following a deorbit burn completed at 7:23 a.m. EST, the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft carrying Expedition 45 Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is on a trajectory to return to Earth and land northeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, at 8:12 a.m. (7:12 p.m. Kazakhstan time).
Weather has deteriorated at the landing site, so the search and recovery forces will expedite the crew’s removal from the landing site. Rather than setting up and tending to the crew members in a medical tent at the landing site, the teams will quickly load them into waiting helicopters for a flight to Dzhezkazgan instead of Karaganda. From Dzhezkazgan, Lindgren and Yui will depart for a return to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston while Kononenko returns to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, northeast of Moscow.
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The Soyuz TMA-17M carrying Expedition 45 Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos (Russian Federal Space Agency) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) undocked from the station at 4:49 a.m. EST.
Kononenko is the commander at the controls of the Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft. They will perform a separation burn to increase the distance from the station before executing a 4-minute, 41-second deorbit burn at 7:19 a.m. The crew is scheduled to land at 8:12 a.m. northeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
NASA Television will air live coverage of the Soyuz TMA-17M deorbit burn and landing beginning at 7 a.m.
The departure marks the end of Expedition 45. Having completed his third mission, Kononenko now has spent 533 days in space. Lindgren and Yui spent 141 days on their first flight.
The Expedition 46 crew members remaining aboard to continue research and maintenance are Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov. The three-person crew will operate the station for four days until the arrival of three new crew members. NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Dec. 15.