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Forum:ESA - JAXA - China - International
Topic:JAXA's H-II Transfer Vehicle Kounotori-6
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A little more than 15 minutes later, the HTV-6 freighter separated from the booster and began its four-day rendezvous with the space station.

Aboard the HTV-6, in addition to crew supplies, water and experiment hardware, are six lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates to replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used to store electrical energy generated by the space station solar arrays. The new batteries will be installed during a series of robotic arm operations and spacewalks between late December and mid-January.

On Tuesday (Dec. 13), the HTV-6 spacecraft will approach the station from below and slowly inch its way toward the complex. Expedition 50 commander Shane Kimbrough and flight engineer Thomas Pesquet will operate the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm from the cupola to reach out and grapple the 12-ton spacecraft. 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 will monitor HTV-6 systems during the rendezvous and grapple.

Robert Pearlman
HTV-6 berthed to space station

Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle-6 (HTV-6) arrived on Tuesday (Dec. 13) at the International Space Station.

Using the robotic arm Canadarm2, Expedition 50 commander Shane Kimbrough and flight engineer captured the Kounotori 6 cargo craft as the outpost was flying 250 miles (400 km) over southern Chile.

Ground controllers then installed the HTV to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module at 7:57 a.m. CST (1357 GMT).

Robert Pearlman
HTV-6 departs space station

Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Shane Kimbrough of NASA took control of the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) H-II Transport Vehicle-6 (HTV-6) at 9:46 a.m. CST (1546 GMT) on Jan. 27.

Earlier, ground controllers used the robotic arm to unberth the cargo craft from the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.

After its release, HTV-6 was moved to a safe distance below and in front of the station for about a week's worth of data gathering with a JAXA experiment designed to measure electromagnetic forces using a tether in low-Earth orbit. JAXA is scheduled to deorbit the craft on Feb. 5.

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