MHI built rocket launched on mission to international space station
After being delayed due to poor weather conditions caused by Typhoon Mangkhut, the HTV-7 freighter (also known as ‘Kounotori’ – meaning ‘white stork’ in Japanese) was successfully launched over the weekend. Built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries under contract to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the H-2 Transfer Vehicle lifted off at 1752:27 GMT (1:52:27 p.m. EDT) Saturday. As its name suggests, HTV-7 is the seventh Kounotori mission. The first of these cargo craft launched in September 2009, and the most recent previous mission, HTV-6, lifted off in December 2016.
Loaded with more than 5 tons (4.5 metric tons) of equipment, food, fuel and other supplies, including six replacement batteries, two refrigerator-size Express science racks that will allow the station to host more research experiments, an experimental European advanced closed-loop life support system will demonstrate new air purification and oxygen-generation capabilities, three Japanese satellites that will be released into orbit and a small new landing craft to bring important biological specimens from the space station back to Earth, the robotic cargo spacecraft was launched without an issue and is currently undergoing it’s 5 day journey to the International Space Station.
Astronauts Drew Feustel and Serena Auñón-Chancellor will use the station’s Canadian-built robotic arm to snare the approaching barrel-shaped HTV cargo craft around 1200 GMT (8 a.m. EDT) Thursday. The robot arm will then park the HTV on a berthing port on the station’s Harmony module, and astronauts will open hatches to begin unpacking the contents of its pressurized compartment.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is proud to be a part of these important missions that allow the astronauts on board the ISS to continue their valuable research and even provide them with equipment and systems that could be used on future deep space missions with great benefit.
You can livestream the HTV-7 docking with the International Space Station by clicking HERE