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Forum:ESA - JAXA - China - International
Topic:JAXA's H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-4) Kounotori-4
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Japanese Cargo Ship Attached to ISS

The unpiloted Japanese Kounotori4 H-II Transfer Vehicle, or HTV-4, was installed on the Earth-facing port of the station's Harmony module. It will remain there for about a month while the more than 3 tons of cargo and experiments it delivered are transferred to the ISS.

Robert Pearlman
Kounotori-4 released from space station

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle-4 (HTV-4) was released from the International Space Station on Wednesday (Sept. 4) at 11:20 a.m. CDT (1620 GMT), completing its one-month stay at the orbiting outpost.

ISS Expedition 36 flight engineer Karen Nyberg, operating from the station's cupola robotics workstation, used the Canadarm2 to release the cargo craft. Ground controllers at Mission Control, Houston earlier unberthed the HTV-4 from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node at 7:07 a.m. CDT (1207 GMT).

HTV-4 is now maneuvering to a safe distance away from the station where it will be commanded by Japanese flight controllers to deorbit on Saturday (Sept. 7). The craft, now loaded with trash, will burn up as it reenters the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

Robert PearlmanJAXA release (Sept. 7, 2013)
Successful re-entry of HTV-4 "Kounotori-4"

The H-II Transfer Vehicle "Kounotori-4" successfully re-entered the atmosphere after the third de-orbit maneuver at 3:11 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2013 (Japanese Standard Time, JST).

The "Kounotori-4" has successfully accomplished the main objective of shipping cargo to the International Space Station, and completed its 36-day mission.

The estimated date/time for the re-entry and water landing are as follows (JST):

  • Estimated re-entry (120 km): Sept. 7, 2013 / 3:37 p.m.
  • Estimated water landing: Sept. 7, 2013 / 3:49 p.m. - 4:05 p.m.
Robert PearlmanNASA photo release
Space station photographs HTV-4 re-entry

A stationary camera onboard the International Space Station took this picture of the Japanese HTV-4 cargo spacecraft as it entered Earth's atmosphere on Sept. 7, subsequently burning up.

See here for discussion about JAXA's Kounotori-4 mission to the space station.

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