Headlines > News > Japanese Resupply Vehicle Launches to Station

Japanese Resupply Vehicle Launches to Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:13 am via: NASA
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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) aboard an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 12:37 a.m. EST (2:27 p.m. Japan time) on Saturday.

HTV2 is the second unpiloted cargo ship launched by JAXA to the International Space Station and will deliver more than four tons of food and supplies to the station and its crew members.

The first launch attempt on Thursday was postponed due to inclement weather at the launch site. JAXA flight controllers modified HTV2’s orbit to reflect a five-day rendezvous to the station with grapple and berthing still scheduled for January 27.

Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli will command the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, to reach out, grapple Kounotori2 and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.

In the following days, a pallet loaded with spare station parts will be extracted from a slot in the cargo ship and attached to an experiment platform outside the Japanese Kibo module. Other cargo will be transferred internally to the station.

The cargo vehicle will be filled with trash, detached from the station and sent to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of March.

Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Dmitry Kondratyev and Oleg Skripochka completed a five-hour, 23-minute spacewalk at 2:52 p.m. Friday.

They installed an antenna for the Russian Radio Technical System for Information Transfer, a new high-speed data transmission system that will use radio technology to send large files at 100 megabytes per second from computer systems inside the station to Earth. It is similar to the NASA system already in use.

They removed a failed plasma pulse generator from the outside of the station that was part of an experiment to investigate disturbances and changes in the ionosphere from space station impulse plasma flow. They also removed a joint Russian and European Space Agency experiment package called Expose-R whose material samples will be returned to Earth for study after exposure to the space environment.

Finally, they installed a docking camera on the outside of the Rassvet module and connected cables to route video from the camera into the space station. The camera will provide views to assist remote-controlled operations for docking future Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft to the station.

This was the 152nd spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance, totaling 956 hours, 14 minutes. It was the 124th out of space station airlocks and the 36th Russian spacewalk based out of the space station. Skripochka’s two spacewalks total 11 hours, 50 minutes. It was Kondratyev’s first excursion.

Kondratyev and Skripochka also will conduct the next space station spacewalk, planned for Feb. 16.

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