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Forum:ESA - JAXA - China - International
Topic:JAXA's H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-2) "Kounotori"
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The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 15 minutes and 13 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the Kounotori2 was confirmed.

We would like to express our profound appreciation for the cooperation and support of all related personnel and organizations that helped contribute to the successful launch of the H-IIB F2.

At the time of the launch, the weather was clear, a wind speed was 8.3 meters/second from the north-west and the temperature was 10.6 degrees Celsius.

SpaceAngelWhy didn't JAXA think about naming the HTV-1 like they did for the second HTV?
Robert PearlmanAccording to JAXA public affairs at the time, the first HTV was considered a test flight so they reserved choosing a name until the second, fully-operational flight.

That being said, JAXA's press and promotional materials for HTV-2/Kountori-2 have retroactively referred to the first craft as Kounotori-1, as in this video.

Robert Pearlman
Kounotori2 (HTV2) arrives at the space station

The unpiloted Japanese Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) arrived at the International Space Station Thursday and was grappled using the International Space Station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, at 5:41 a.m. EST.

Expedition 26 flight engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli used the station’s robotic arm to grab the cargo craft and begin its move to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module. Berthing of HTV2 to the Harmony module is scheduled to take place at about 9 a.m.

Robert Pearlman
Kounotori2 (HTV2) attached to space station

Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli used the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to attach the unpiloted Japanese Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 8:51 a.m. CST.
Robert Pearlman

Credit: ESA/NASA
MCC-Houston: "Station, you have a GO for grapple!"

Credit: ESA/NASA
Station: "Grapple completed, Kounotori is grappled!"

Credit: ESA/NASA
Paolo Nespoli, Cady Coleman and Scott Kelly checking out their crew care packages that arrived with HTV-2.
Robert Pearlman
Relocation of Kounotori2 complete

Using the International Space Station's robotic arm, Expedition 26 flight engineers Paolo Nespoli and Catherine Coleman completed the relocation of the Japanese Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle at 10:56 a.m. CST Friday, Feb. 18.

Commander Scott Kelly, stationed at a laptop computer, ordered the latches tightened at the Harmony module's space-facing docking port confirming second stage capture of Kounotori2.

The JAXA-provided Kounotori2, which arrived at the station Jan. 27, was relocated from the Harmony module's Earth-facing port to its space-facing port to provide the clearance needed for space shuttle Discovery to dock during the STS-133 mission to the station later this month.

The cargo ship will be moved back to the Harmony module's Earth-facing port after Discovery undocks at the completion of the STS-133 mission. The final relocation is currently scheduled for March 7, but is dependent on Discovery's launch and undocking dates.

Robert Pearlman
Station crew relocates Kounotori2

Positioned in the International Space Station's Cupola, Expedition 26 flight engineers Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman used the station's robotic arm to complete the relocation of the Japanese Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Thursday (March 10).


Credit: ESA/NASA

Once the move was completed, Nespoli and commander Scott Kelly performed vestibule pressurization and outfitting procedures to ready it for ingress.

Kounotori2, which arrived at the station Jan. 27, was relocated back to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module after being placed on the space-facing side of the module prior to space shuttle Discovery's arrival. The move was made to provide Discovery with the clearance needed to dock during the STS-133 mission.

The Japanese cargo craft is currently scheduled to undock from the station March 28 for a destructive re-entry in the Earth's atmosphere.

Robert PearlmanJAXA release
HTV2's Departure time from the ISS and re-entry time to the atmosphere

Departure time from the ISS and re-entry time to the atmosphere of the H-II Transfer Vehicle "Kounotori2" (HTV2) are set as follows.
  • [Departure from the ISS]
    Day: March 29, 2011
    Time: around 12:45 a.m. (JST)
    (around 10:45 a.m. CDT March 28)

  • [Re-entry to the atmosphere]
    Day: March 30, 2011
    Time: around 10:00 p.m. (JST)
    (around 8:00 a.m. CDT March 30)
Robert Pearlman
Origami cranes to become "shooting stars" on HTV

The Expedition 27 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS) held a hatch closing ceremony for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle-2 (HTV-2) "Kounotori2" on March 27, during which Dmitri Kondratyev, Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman revealed three origami cranes that they packed onboard the unmanned resupply vehicle.

"These are our extraterrestrial cranes, a symbol of hope, put into HTV for all Japanese people," said the crew. "We are with you!"

Creating the folded-paper cranes has become a symbol on Earth — and now in space — of support for Japan in the wake of the March 11 massive earthquake and tsunami that claimed thousands of lives.

"The cranes will fly back to Earth with HTV and magically become shooting stars. Hope is our future!" said the station crew members.

HTV-2 was named "Kounotori," which translates to "white stork," as its mission is to carry important and special deliveries to the station.


Credit: ESA/NASA

Robert Pearlman
HTV Kounotori2 released from space station

Expedition 27 flight engineers Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman used the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to unberth the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's H-II Transfer Vehicle-2 (HTV-2) "Kounotori2" from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node at 8:45 a.m. CDT on Monday, March 28.

They released the arm's grapple on the resupply craft at 10:46 a.m. CDT, beginning its return to Earth.

"We had Kounotori aboard the station after its successful capture for about two months now," radioed Coleman from the station. "It brought an amazing amount of supplies that were very much needed here on the space station. Also important, it is bringing some of our packing material and things we just can't afford to have on the station, its bringing those away."

"So today marks the end of what I think was a very, very productive time for the Japanese supply module Kounotori and an excellent, excellent demonstration of robotics in space," she said.

From its berthing to unberth, Kounotori2 spent a total of 59 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes at the space station.

HTV-2's destructive re-entry into Earth's atmosphere is scheduled for Tuesday night.

Robert PearlmanJAXA release
Successful Reentry of HTV2

The H-II Transfer Vehicle "Kounotori2" (HTV2) successfully reentered the atmosphere after the third deorbit maneuver at 11:44 a.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 (JST).

The HTV2 successfully accomplished the main objective of shipping cargo to the International Space Station, and completed all of its missions over 67 days with today's reentry.

The estimated times for re-entry and water landing are as follows: (Times are in JST)

  • Estimated reentry time*: around 12:09 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2011
  • Estimated water landing time: between 12:21 and 12:41 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2011
*Altitude at 120 km

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