H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI" (HTV)

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September 7, 2013 Updated

KOUNOTORI4 completed its mission with re-entry!

The KOUNOTORI4 (HTV4, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) left the ISS on Sept. 5 and re-entered the atmosphere at 3:37 p.m. on Sept. 7 (Japan Standard Time.)
The KOUNOTORI 4 successfully achieved its mission of taking cargo to the ISS, then completed all its tasks over about 36 days.
We would like to send our sincere appreciation to all of you who have been supporting the KOUNOTORI project.

September 3, 2013 Updated

Re-entry date and time for KOUNOTORI4 decided

Schedules of departure from the International Space Station (ISS) and of re-entry to the atmosphere for the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI 4” (HTV4) are determined as follows.

Departure from the ISS:
September 5, 2013 / 1:00 a.m.(Japanese Standard Time, JST)*
Re-entry to the atmosphere:
September 7, 2013 / 3:36 p.m.(JST)*

* The time may vary according to the actual operation.

August 10, 2013 Updated

KOUNOTORI4 berthed at ISS!

The KOUNOTORI4 (HTV4, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) was captured by the ISS robotic arm at 8:22 p.m. on August 9 (Japan Standard Time) and berthed at the ISS at 3:38 a.m. on August 10 (JST). The KOUNOTORI4 was launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.4 on August 4. ISS astronauts will take cargo out from the Pressurized and Unpressurized Logistic Carriers into the ISS.

August 9, 2013 Updated

Live broadcast of KOUNOTORI4 trip to ISS!

The KOUNOTORI3 (HTV4, the cargo transporter to the International Space Station) launched on August 4 has been traveling to the ISS while adjusting its altitude. Between the evening on August 9 and early on the morning of August 10, the KOUNOTORI4 will make a final approach and berth at the ISS. JAXA will provide a live broadcast of its final access, capture, and berthing.
The KOUNOTORI4's approach and the ISS's capture of the vehicle by the robotic arm is scheduled for about one hour from 7:40 p.m. on the 9th (Japan Standard Time.) Then the telecast of its berthing will last for about one hour from 22:00 p.m. on the 9th (JST.)
Please don't miss the broadcast!
(Photo: The KOUNOTORI3 approaching the ISS, JAXA/NASA)

August 4, 2013 Updated

Launch Success of KOUNOTORI4/H-IIB F4

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 with the KOUNOTORI4 (HTV4, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) onboard lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at4:48:46 a.m. on August 4 (Sun., Japan Standard Time.)
The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and at 14 minutes and 59 seconds after liftoff, the KOUNOTORI4 separation was confirmed.
The KOUNOTORI4 will gradually go closer to the International Space Station, and it will be berthed at the ISS. We will broadcast the berthing on our website, so don't miss it!

June 19, 2013 Updated

KOUNOTORI4 revealed at TNSC

On June 19, the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) “KOUNOTORI4” was shown to the media at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC.)
The KOUNOTORI4 will be launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 on Aug. 4 from the TNSC. It will carry various goods to the ISS including food and water for astronauts, as well as experiment devices and materials for the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo.” Launch preparations continue for the KOUNOTORI4.

May 21, 2013 Updated

KOUNOTORI4/H-IIB F4 launch schedule decided!

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 (H-IIB F4) carrying the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV4, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) will be launched on August 4 (Sunday, Japan Standard Time.) The launch time will be around 4:48 a.m. (JST.) It will be blasted off from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegahsima Space Center. Why don't you take this opportunity to come to Tanegahima to witness the liftoff at hand!

September 14, 2012 Updated

KOUNOTORI3 completed its mission with re-entry!

The KOUNOTORI3 (HTV3, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) left the ISS on Sept. 13 and re-entered the atmosphere at 2:27 p.m. on Sept. 14 (Japan Standard Time.)
The KOUNOTORI 3 successfully achieved its mission of taking cargo to the ISS, then completed all its tasks over about 56 days.
We would like to send our sincere appreciation to all of you who have been supporting the KOUNOTORI project.

September 11, 2012 Updated

KOUNOTORI3 departure and re-entry live report!

The H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI3” (HTV3,a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) will leave from the ISS at around 0:50 a.m. on Sept. 13 (Japan Standard Time, all the following dates and time are JST,) and will re-enter the atmosphere at around 2:24 p.m. on Sept. 14.
JAXA will offer a live report of its departure from the ISS from 0:20 a.m. on the 13th (Thu.), then a live scene of the HTV operation room at the time of its re-entry from 1:45 p.m. on the 14th (Fri.) through the Internet. Please do not miss the footage!

September 7, 2012 Updated

Re-entry date and time for KOUNOTORI3 decided

The re-entry schedule for the KOUNOTORI3 was set as follows after extended mooring at the International Space Station due to an additional extravascular activity.

Departure from the ISS:
September 13, 2012 / 0:50 a.m.(Japanese Standard Time, JST)*
Re-entry to the atmosphere:
September 14, 2012 / 2:24 p.m.(JST)*

* The time is subject to change due to actual operational status.

The KOUNOTORI3 will carry a re-entry data recorder, the i-Ball, which was developed in cooperation between the public and private sectors to acquire atmosphere re-entry data as well as scenes of KOUNOTORI3's destruction.

July 28, 2012 Updated

KOUNOTORI3 berthed at ISS!

The KOUNOTORI3 (HTV3, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) was captured by the ISS robotic arm at 9:23 p.m. on July 27 (Japan Standard Time) and berthed at the ISS at 2:31 a.m. on July 28. The KOUNOTORI3 was launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.3 on July 21. ISS astronauts will take cargo out from the Pressurized and Unpressurized Logistic Carriers into the ISS.
(Photo: The KOUNOTORI3 to a Common Berthing Mechanism at the nadir port of Harmony, JAXA/NASA)

July 21, 2012 Updated

Launch Success of KOUNOTORI3/H-IIB F3

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 3 with the KOUNOTORI3 (HTV3, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) onboard lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 11:06:18 on July 21 (Sat., Japan Standard Time.)
The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and at 14 minutes and 53 seconds after liftoff, the KOUNOTORI3 separation was confirmed.
The KOUNOTORI3 will gradually go closer to the International Space Station, and it will be berthed at the ISS. We will broadcast the berthing on our website, so don't miss it!

June 21, 2012 Updated

KOUNOTORI3/H-IIB F3 Special Site now open!

JAXA will launch the KOUNOTORI3 (a cargo transporter to the International Space Station, ISS) by H-IIB Launch vehicle No.3 on July 21 from the Tanegashima Space Center. We have opened the KOUNOTORI3/H-IIB F3 Special Site to be ready for the launch.
Please check the special site for more information. We have also started welcoming your support messages, so please send them to us!

June 7, 2012 Updated

KOUNOTORI3 revealed to the media at TNSC

On June 1 (Fri.), the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI3" (HTV3, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) was revealed to the media at the Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building 2 at the Tanegashima Space Center. The KOUNOTORI3 will be packed with food and daily necessities for astronauts aboard the ISS, test equipment for aquatic organisms, and other experiment devices including a small satellite, then will be launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 3 at 11:18 a.m. on July 21, 2012 (Japan Standard Time.) The KOUNOTORI is currently under preparations for its journey to space.

March 21, 2012 Updated

KOUNOTORI3/H-IIB F3 launch schedule decided!

The launch date and time for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 3 (H-IIB F3) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI3" (HTV3), a cargo transporter to the International Space Station, has been set to be at around 11:18 a.m. on July 21 (Sat.), 2012 (Japan Standard Time.) The launch preparation operation for the KOUNOTORI is smoothly in progress at the Tanegashima Space Center.

March 30, 2011 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 re-entered the atmosphere to complete its mission!

The KOUNOTORI2 (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station,) which left the ISS at around 0:46 a.m. on March 29 (Japan Standard Time,) re-entered the atmosphere at around 12:09 p.m. on March 30 (JST.)
The KOUNOTORI2 successfully completed its role to transport materials to the ISS, then re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere to complete its mission of approximately 67 days.
Thank you very much for supporting the KOUNOTORI2 and H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.2 missions.

March 29, 2011 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 left ISS!

The KOUNOTORI2 (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the ISS) was detached from the International Space Station (ISS) using the ISS robotic arm at 10:29 p.m. on March 28 (Japan Standard time,) and it emitted a jet to leave the ISS after being transported to the release point at 0:46 a.m. on the 30th.
The KOUNOTORI2 will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at around 12:09 on March 30. From some areas, you can see the KOUNOTORI2 flying around the Earth between the 29th and the 30th. Also, please witness the scene of the HTV operation and control room when it re-enters the atmosphere through the live Internet broadcast, which will begin at 11:30 a.m. on the 30th.

March 25, 2011 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 leaving ISS on the 29th! Live broadcast scheduled

The KOUNOTORI2 (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) will depart from the ISS with used material loaded on March 29 (Japan Standard Time,) and will be slated for re-entry to the atmosphere on the 30th (JST.) JAXA will broadcast a live Internet report of the KOUNOTORI departure from the ISS from 0:00 a.m. on the 29th (JST,) then its re-entry to the atmosphere from 11:30 a.m. on the 30th (JST.) Please watch the events through the Internet!

March 22, 2011 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 to leave ISS

The departure date of the KOUNOTORI2 (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the ISS), which is loaded with used materials, from the International Space Station (ISS) has been decided.
The KOUNOTORI2 will leave the ISS at around 0:45 a.m. on March 29 (Japan Standard Time) after completing its role at the ISS. After departure, it will be burned when it re-enters the atmosphere at around 12:10 p.m. on March 30. Following its combustion, its mission will be accomplished.
We will broadcast a live report of the departure and re-entry of the KOUNOTORI2. More details will be posted on our website. (Photo by NASA)

March 11, 2011 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 relocation to the earth-facing port completed

At 8:49 p.m. on March 10 (Japan Standard Time), the KOUNOTORI2 (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) began to be moved from the zenith port to the earth-facing port using the robotic arm of the International Space Station. At 3:55 a.m. on the 11th (JST,) KOUNOTORI2's electric and communication systems were connected to the ISS to complete the relocation. After being loaded with used items, the KOUNOTORI2 will re-enter the atmosphere to be burned.

March 9, 2011 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 to return to earth-facing port from March 10

The KOUNOTORI2 (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station), will move back to the earth-facing port of the Harmony (Node 2) from its zenith port now that the Space Shuttle Discovery left the ISS to go home on March 7 (Japan Standard Time.) The relocation is scheduled to be performed on the 10th and 11th (JST.) More cargo will be taken out of the KOUNOTORI2, then, after being packed with used materials, the KOUNOTORI2 will re-enter the atmosphere.
(Photo by NASA)

February 21, 2011 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 relocation to the zenith port completed

As part of preparations for the Space Shuttle Discovery’ s docking with the International Space Station (ISS,) the KOUNOTORI2 , or the HTV2, a cargo transporter to the ISS, was moved from the earth-facing port of the Harmony (Node 2) to its zenith port. This was the first time to perform such a relocation. The KOUNOTORI2 was successfully transported at 1:45 a.m. on Feb. 19 (Japan Standard Time,) and the electric cables were connected with the Harmony at 4:26 a.m. (JST) to complete its relocation.

January 28, 2011 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 berthing at ISS

The KOUNOTORI2, or the HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS) launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.2, was captured by the ISS robotic arm at around 8:41 p.m. on January 27 (Japan Standard Time,) and, at around 3:34 a.m. on the 28th (JST,) the KOUNOTORI berthed at the ISS. Cargo in the Pressurized Section will be transported to the ISS by the ISS astronauts followed by cargo in unpressurized areas.

January 22, 2011 Updated

KOUNOTORI2/H-IIB F2 successfully launched

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 with the KOUNOTORI2 (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station, ISS) onboard was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center at 2:37:57 p.m. on January 22 (Sat., Japan Standard Time.) The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 15 minutes and 13 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the KOUNOTORI2 was confirmed.
The KOUNOTORI2 will fly to the ISS, then, on Jan. 28 (Fri., JST,) it is slated for berthing with the ISS.

December 14, 2010 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 system checkup completed

At the Tanegashima Space Center, all parts of the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI2” (HTV2) were integrated electrically and mechanically in the end of October. Throughout November, the assembled KOUNOTORI2 has been checked as one system to confirm that no problem was found in the vehicle.
After a thorough inspection, propellants were loaded onto the KOUNOTORI2 tanks, and currently the tank pressure is being adjusted. Preparation for launch is smoothly progressing.
The final launch preparation including battery charge and loading onto the H-IIA Launch Vehicle No.2 will now be carried out for the KOUNOTORI2.

December 1, 2010 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 control and operation simulation revealed to the press

On November 30, JAXA showed part of the control and operation simulation of the KOUNOTORI2 to the media at the Tsukuba Space Center. The KOUNOTORI2 (HTV2) is a cargo transfer vehicle to the International Space Station (ISS.)
The purpose of the simulation was to train and improve operators’ skills. It takes about 20 hours with NASA to simulate events, from the KOUNOTORI2’s arrival at around 12-km beneath the ISS, to its gradual approach to the ISS, to the capture of the KOUNOTORI2 by the ISS robotic arm, and then the docking of the KOUNOTORI2.

November 26, 2010 Updated

KOUNOTORI2 shown to the Press at TNSC

On Nov. 25, the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI”2 (a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) was revealed to the media at the Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building No. 2 at the Tanegashima Space Center. We are engaging in preparation for the launch of the KOUNOTORI2 including propellant loading and mating with the launch vehicle.
JAXA provides updated information about the KOUNOTORI2 and H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.2 at the special site. Your support messages are welcome there, too.

November 11, 2010 Updated

HTV nickname selected & special site open!

"KOUNOTORI" (meaning "a white stork" in English) was chosen as the nickname of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, a cargo transfer vehicle to the International Space Station.)
During a month-long nickname campaign, we received 17,236 suggestions.
Among them, "KOUNOTORI" was selected because a white stork carries an image of conveying an important thing (a baby, happiness, and other joyful things); therefore, it precisely expresses the mission to transport essential materials to the ISS.
The KOUNOTORI2 is scheduled to be launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 (H-IIB F2) at around 3:29 p.m. (Japan Standard Time) on January 20 (Thu.), 2011.
Taking this opportunity of selecting the nickname, we would also like to open the "KOUNOTORI2/H-IIB F2 Special Site." We will provide you with updated information about the project including a column by project personnel and launch related matters. Please enjoy the site!
* Launch time will be determined by the updated orbit of the ISS.

November 10, 2010 Updated

Launch day set for HTV2/H-IIB F2!

The launch date and time for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 (H-IIB F2) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) onboard was set for around 3:29 p.m. on January 20 (Thu.), 2011 (Japan Standard Time). The HTV2 is a cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS.) The integration of all modules of the HTV2 was completed at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), and it will enter the final launch preparation phase. The H-IIB F2 has already been transported to the TNSC, and it is now being assembled there.
* Launch time will be determined by the updated orbit of the ISS.

November 2, 2010 Updated

HTV2: all modules connected, moved to final launch preparations


(Left) All HTV2 modules are being connected (Center) Integrated HTV2 (front side) (Right) Integrated HTV2 (back side) (Images by JAXA)

On Oct. 29, we completed connecting all modules of the second H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) electrically and mechanically at the Second Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building (SFA2) at the Tanegashima Space Center. The HTV2 is now in its configuration for launch.
After a comprehensive check on the integrated HTV2, it will go through final launch preparations including propellant loading and fairing encapsulation. The HTV2 is scheduled to be launched in the winter launch period of Japan Fiscal Year 2010.

October 13, 2010 Updated

Full assembly started for the second HTV

The assembly operation for all modules of the second H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, the cargo transporter to the International Space Station) started on October 6 at the second Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building (SFA2) at the Tanegashima Space Center. Prior to full assembly, in mid September, cargo to the ISS was loaded onto the Pressurized and Unpressurized Carriers.

April 7, 2010 Updated

Development of HTV/H-IIB received Japan industry technology/MEXT award

JAXA was selected as one of 12 organizations to receive the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology award at the 39th Japan industry technology awards for its development of the HTV and H-IIB launch vehicle.
The Japan industry technology awards are presented by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd. (Business and Technology Daily News, Japan) to encourage development of original and unique technology that contributes to the promotion of industry. The news company bestows the awards to development projects of distinctive large-scale technological systems.

February 10, 2010 Updated

HTV Project Team awarded for research

Since 2005, the National Institute of Science Technology Policy (NISTEP) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has been choosing researchers who have made significant contributions to science and technology every year to praise their efforts. In 2009, the demonstration flight of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) was highly evaluated, and on February 9, Mr. Torano, HTV Project Manager, Mr. Koyari, Sub-project Manager, and Mr. Sasaki, Functional Manager, received a memento of the selection.

November 2, 2009 Updated

HTV re-entered the atmosphere, mission completed

The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight, which departed from the International Space Station (ISS) on October 31, re-entered the atmosphere at around 6:26 a.m. on November 2.
The HTV successfully completed its cargo transportation operations to the ISS, and accomplished all its missions in about 52 days following the re-entry today.

October 31, 2009 Updated

HTV released from ISS

The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight, which completed its cargo transportation mission at the International Space Station (ISS), was unberthed from the ISS by its robotic arm (SSRMS) at 0:02 a.m. on October 31 (Japan Standard Time, the following dates and times are JST.) The HTV departed from the ISS at 2:32 a.m. on the 31st. The HTV will leave the ISS orbit, and is scheduled to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere at around 6:25 a.m. on November 2 (Mon.)
You may be able to see the HTV just prior to re-entry from Okinawa at around 6:13 a.m. on the 2nd if the deorbit process goes smoothly and the weather cooperates. (Photo by NASA)

October 27, 2009 Updated

Internet Live Report: HTV leaving ISS on Oct. 31 (Sat)

The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight, which is currently berthed at the International Space Station (ISS), is scheduled to depart from the ISS at 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 31 (Sat) (Japan Standard Time, all the following days and times are in JST.) The HTV will be unberthed from the ISS by the ISS robotic arm (SSRMS) late at night on Oct. 30 (Fri) after its hatch to the ISS is closed at dawn of Oct. 30, then depart from the ISS. If everything goes smoothly, the HTV will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere around 6:25 a.m. on Nov. 2 (Mon).

We will broadcast a live report of the HTV unberthing and departure from the ISS through the Internet from 11:45 p.m. on Oct. 30 (Fri) and from 2:15 a.m. on Oct. 31 (Sat) respectively. (Sorry, the live reports are broadcasted only in the Japanese language.) Please enjoy the HTV live reports over the weekend!
The live broadcast time schedule has changed due to the delay of the HTV departure.

October 21, 2009 Updated

The HTV PLC unloading operations completed, trash loading continues

HTV-1, being berthed to the ISS, is operating nominally. The Small Fine Arm (SFA) of the Kibo Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), packed in a Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) and delivered to the ISS, was transferred from the HTV Pressurized Logistics Carrier (PLC) to Kibo on October 4. The Pressurized Stowage Resupply Rack (PSRR), also delivered on the HTV-1, was transferred to Kibo’s Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section (ELM-PS) on October 14. All the cargo transfer operation from the HTV PLC to the ISS was completed on October 20.
Aboard the ISS, trash loading into the HTV PLC is currently underway. With this trash stow activity completed, the HTV-1 will depart from the ISS, and enter the atmosphere early next month.
Photo (provided by NASA): Astronaut Robert Thirsk taking cargo out from the HTV Pressurized Carrier.

October 14, 2009 Updated

HTV operations running smoothly, cargo unloading continues

Cargo unloading operations continued from the Pressurized Logistics Carrier of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight berthed at the International Space Station (ISS). On Oct. 4, the Small Fine Arm (SFA) of the Kibo’s Robotic Arm was moved to the ISS. The SFA was transported to the ISS as it was still packed in the Cargo Transfer Bag. One unit of the Pressurized Stowage Resupply Rack will be transferred to the ISS on the 14th.
Photo (provided by NASA): Astronaut Nicole Stott taking cargo out from the HTV Pressurized Carrier.

September 26, 2009 Updated

Exposed Pallet stored back in HTV

The Exposed Pallet of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight was retrieved and stored back in the HTV Unpressurized Carrier at 10:20 p.m. on Sept. 25 (Japan Standard Time) by the robotic arms of the Kibo and the International Space Station (SSRMS) after its two cargoes, the experiment devices in the unpressurized environment, had been installed in the Kibo’s Exposed Facility.
Cargo in the HTV Pressurized Carrier will now be unloaded by the astronauts aboard the ISS. After the unloading, used material and equipment on the ISS will be packed into the Pressurized Carrier. The HTV will depart from the ISS in mid-November to re-enter the atmosphere. (The detailed schedule will be decided based on the ISS/HTV operational status.) (Photo by NASA)

September 25, 2009 Updated

Two experiment devices installed onto Kibo Exposed Facility

On Sept. 24 and 25 (Japan Standard Time), two experiment devices that were shipped by the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight were unloaded from the HTV Exposed Pallet and installed onto the Exposed Facility of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo.”
The two devices are the "Superconducting Submilimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES)" and the "Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) & Remote Atmospheric & Ionospheric Detection System (RAIDS) Experimental Payload (HREP.)" The HREP and the SMILES were mounted at 8:15 p.m. on the 24th and 1:12 a.m on the 25th respectively. (Photo by NASA)

September 24, 2009 Updated

HTV Exposed Pallet attached to the Kibo Exposed Facility

At 6:06 p.m. on Sept. 23rd (Japan Standard Time, JST), the Exposed Pallet was taken out from the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight, which is now berthed at the International Space Station (ISS). The Pallet was then attached onto the Exposed Facility of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” at 11:33 p.m. (JST). The experiment devices on the Pallet will be moved to be installed onto the Kibo’s Exposed Facility. (Photo by NASA)

September 18, 2009 Updated

HTV Demonstration Flight successfully berthed at ISS

The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight, launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle Test Flight at 2:01 a.m. on Sept. 11 (Japan Standard Time, JST,) took almost one week to approach the International Space Station (ISS) and arrived at the Berthing Point 10 meters below the ISS at 4:27 a.m. on the 18th (JST, following times are all JST.) At 4:51 a.m., the HTV was captured by the ISS robotic arm (Space Station Remote Manipulator System, SSRMS) manipulated by the ISS crew, and it was installed onto the Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) on the lower side (earth side) of the Harmony (Node 2) at 7:26 a.m. At 10:49 a.m., electric and communication lines were connected, and the HTV was successfully berthed at the ISS.

September 15, 2009 Updated

Live reports of the HTV final approach to the ISS on Sept. 18 (Fri.)

The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight, which was launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle at 2:01:46 a.m. on September 11 (Fri.) has been smoothly flying on its scheduled course. Its final approach to the International Space Station (ISS) was approved at the ISS Mission Management Team (IMMT) meeting on Sept. 15, thus, from the 16th, the altitude of the HTV will be maneuvered to gradually approach the ISS. The HTV is scheduled to be berthed at the ISS on Sept. 18 (Fri.)
JAXA will broadcast the live reports of the ISS robotic arm capturing the HTV from 4:00 a.m., and the berthing of the HTV at the ISS from 7:00 a.m. They are early in the morning, but don’t miss them!

September 11, 2009 Updated

HTV/H-IIB Successfully Launched!!

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight aboard the H-IIB Launch Vehicle Test Flight (H-IIB TF1) at 2:01:46 a.m. on September 11, 2009 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 15 minutes and 6 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the HTV Demonstration Flight was confirmed.

The HTV will gradually approach the International Space Station (ISS) and berth at the ISS on the 18th (Friday, JST.)

August 31, 2009 Updated

HTV moved to the VAB! Final launch preparation phase

On August 30, the encapsulated HTV Demonstration Flight was transported to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB.) It will be loaded onto the H-IIB Launch Vehicle to be ready for the launch on September 11. We published a promotion movie of the HTV/H-IIB mission. Please watch it before witnessing the actual launch!

August 24, 2009 Updated

HTV encapsulated

On August 21, the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight was mated with the Payload Attach Fitting (PAF) at the Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building #2.
On the 23rd, the HTV on the PAF was encapsulated by the payload fairing, which covers the payload to protect it from air resistance, friction and the acoustic vibrations of launch. The fairing for the HTV is a 5S-H type and is about 5 meters in diameter and about 15 meters in length. It was developed for the HTV launch.
The encapsulated HTV Demonstration Flight will be transported to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and loaded onto the H-IIB Launch Vehicle Test Flight.

July 9, 2009 Updated

HTV opened to the press at TNSC

On July 9, the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) was opened to the press at the Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building #2 (SFA2) at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC.)
We are providing updated information on the HTV and H-IIB at the HTV/H-IIB Special Site.

July 8, 2009 Updated

HTV/H-IIB launch date decided! Special site opened

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle Test Flight with the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) will be launched at 2:04 a.m. on September 11 (Fri.). (*)
The HTV has been fully assembled at the Tanegashima Space Center, and it will be under final launch preparations including comprehensive checkout and propellant loading to be ready for launch.
The ground comprehensive test for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle using the Ground Test Vehicle (the GTV test) is scheduled on the 11th.
Please check the updated information on the HTV and H-IIB at the "HTV/H-IIB Special Site," which was opened today. We hope you enjoy the site.
(*) Time will be determined by the updated orbit of the International Space Station (ISS.)

June 30, 2009 Updated

Preparations for the HTV Demonstration Flight going smoothly at TNSC

Preparations for the Demonstration Flight of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) are underway at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC).
At dawn on April 23, the HTV arrived at the TNSC and was moved into the Spacecraft and Fairing Assembly Building #2 for a post-transportation inspection on each element of the vehicle.
Payloads to be shipped to the International Space Station (ISS) by the HTV were then loaded onto the HTV’s Pressurized Logistic Carrier and Unpressurized Logistic Carrier.

In the Pressurized Logistic Carrier, life-related supplies, such as food and clothes, which were packed in the Cargo Transfer Bag (CTB) and other experiment materials were stored on the HTV Re-supply Rack (HRR) of the Carrier. In the Unpressurized Logistic Carrier, the Superconducting Submilimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES,) which is an experiment device for the Kibo’s Exposed Facility, and NASA experimental equipment were loaded onto the Exposed Pallet of the Carrier.

After completing the payload loading, the two carriers were mated.
On June 24, all HTV modules including the Avionics Module and Propulsion Module were connected.
The HTV demonstration flight is now fully assembled, and will start final launch preparations such as a comprehensive vehicle inspection and propellant loading.

April 24, 2009 Updated

HTV arrives at TNSC

At dawn on April 23, the First H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) was transported from Shimama Port at Tanegashima to the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC.) The HTV left the Tsukuba Space Center on April 17. The Pressurized Logistic Carrier, Unpressurized Logistic Carrier, the Avionics Module, and the Propulsion Module were detached for the transportation, thus they will be assembled after arrival. A final functional checkup will be held prior to the launch.

April 17, 2009 Updated

HTV left for the TNSC

The first H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), or the HTV Technology Demonstrator, left the Tsukuba Space Center at dawn on April 17, 2009, for the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC.) After arrival, the HTV will be assembled and checked for launch by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle, which is now under testing.

 
The first HTV leaving the TKSC (Unpressurized Logistics Carrier, Avionics Module, and Plopulsion Module) The first HTV arrived at Tsuchiura Port (Unpressurized Logistics Carrier)

December 26, 2008 Updated

HTV open to the press

On Dec. 25, 2008, JAXA revealed the maiden H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), an unmanned supply transfer vehicle that will fly to the International Space Station (ISS), to the press at the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC.) It was the first press conference since assembling all the modules of the first HTV.

At the press conference, the HTV and its launch by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle were explained by HTV Project Manager Yoshihiko Torano and H-IIB Launch Vehicle Project Manger Tomihisa Nakamura. The Superconducting Submilimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES,) which will be transported to the ISS by the first HTV, was also introduced by Professor Masato Shiotani of the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere of Kyoto University. The SMILES is one of the experiment devices that will be installed onto the Exposed Facility of the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo.”

Also at the press conference, the first HTV and the SMILES undergoing an all-vehicle functional test were shown to the media at the Spacecraft Integration and Test Building at the TKSC. The modules of the cargo section (“Pressurized Carrier” and “Unpressurized Carrier,”) “Avionics Module” and “Propulsion Module” were assembled for the test. The “Exposed Pallet” loaded with a dummy cargo for the test and the SMILES were also displayed.

We will conduct comprehensive functional tests with the mechanically and electrically integrated HTV, such as conductivity verification of the pipes and electric system, and other compatibility tests. The HTV is then scheduled to be transported to the Tanegashima Space Center in April, 2009, at the earliest, and be launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle in the summer launch season of 2009 or later.

December 18, 2008 Updated

All flight modules assembled for first time for inaugural HTV flight

On Dec. 12, all the parts of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV,) the supply transfer vehicle to the International Space Station, were assembled for an all-vehicle functional test ahead of its first flight. They are the "Logistic Carrier Pressurized Section," the cargo section of the "Un-pressurized Carrier," the "Exposed Pallet," the "Avionics Module" and the "Propellant Module." This was the first time that all the modules were assembled. The size of the assembled HTV was about the same size as the Pressurized Module of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo." The HTV will be the largest payload that JAXA has ever launched.

During the all-vehicle functional test, all the modules are mechanically and electrically connected to verify their function as one piece of the vehicle such as proper pipe routing and electric conductivity.

The first HTV is scheduled to be launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle in September 2009 at the earliest.

August 28, 2008 Updated

Thermal Vacuum Test for first flight of HTV

A thermal vacuum test on the first flight vehicle of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) has been carried out at the Spacecraft Integration and Test Building at the Tsukuba Space Center.
The purpose of the test is to evaluate the thermal design of the structure and to verify its endurance in the harsh environment of space by simulating the vacuum and thermal environment in space.
Thermal vacuum tests for the Pressurized Carrier and Unpressurized Carrier have already been completed, and the main part with the Avionics Module and Propulsion Module combined is now in the 13-meter diameter space chamber for testing.
The test will be completed in early September before the acoustic test and functional test are performed. After all the test results are reviewed to make sure that no problem is left unsolved, the vehicle will be transported to the Tanegashima Space Center for final launch preparations.

(Photo: The main part of the HTV (Avionics Module and Propulsion Module) moved into the 13-meter diameter space chamber)

April 18, 2008 Updated

The first model HTV (Technology Demonstration Model) was shown to the press

On April 17, 2008, a press review was held for the first model H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) (Technology Demonstration Model), which is an unmanned cargo transfer spacecraft to the International Space Station. On display separately were the Pressurized Logistics Carrier for supply transportation, the Avionics Module for vehicle body control and the Propulsion Module which carries the propulsion system. When the HTV is completed and fully equipped, it will be the largest spacecraft in Japan with a length of 10 meters and a weight of 16.5 tons. After going through performance tests like the Thermal Vacuum Test and Acoustic Test, the first model HTV is scheduled for launch from Tanegashima on the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 1 (Test Model) in the summer of 2009.

July 2, 2007 Updated

Proximity Communication System (PROX) undergoes testing

Tests are currently being performed on the Proximity Communication System (PROX) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

The PROX system will be installed in the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" to communicate between the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) and transmit and receive data between the International Space Station (ISS). It will also measure the relative distance and speed between the ISS and the HTV in order to support the HTV's rendezvous with the ISS.

Since last year, tests on the PROX and a compatibility test for the PROX/rack had been carried out before it went through a pre-shipping examination and was shipped out to the U.S. in January 2007. After performing several tests like the JEM/PROX compatibility test, it will be installed in the Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section (ELM-PS) and is scheduled for launch on Assembly Flight 1J/A at the end of February 2008.

Photo1 : A general view of the PROX (Bottom right is the PROX before shipping at Tsukuba Space Center).
Photo2 : A scene from a test on the PROX at the Kennedy Space Center.
Photo3 : A crew review scene performed by astronaut Furukawa (taken from behind the PROX rack.)


June 26, 2006 Updated

Prototype HTV unveiled to press at Tsukuba Space Center

On June 23, a prototype of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) was unveiled to the press at the Tsukuba Space Center (TKSC.) The HTV is an unmanned orbital carrier to the International Space Station (ISS.) It is equipped with both the function of a "manned cargo carrier" for ISS crews to actually embark and carry out supportive work on it and the function of an "inter-orbital carrier" to perform "inter-orbit transportation to a selected attitude," "rendezvous flights to the ISS," and "re-entry" to aim to acquire the necessary technology for autonomous activities in space.

The prototype will be used for various environment tests to make sure it can bear the extreme temperatures in space and acoustic and vibration environment at the time of launch. Through the tests, the project team will verify basic design data, and incorporate test results into future development.


Outline of the HTV project
  • Length: about 10 m (including thruster)
  • Diameter: about 4.4 m
  • Mass: about 10.5 ton (excluding cargo)
  • Loading capacity (for supply): about 6 tons
  • Loading capacity (for waste): about 6 tons
  • Target orbit: ISS orbit
        Altitude: 350 to 460 km
        Inclination: about 51.6 degrees
  • Mission hours:
        Solo flight: about 100 hours
        Stand-by: more than a week
        Docked with the ISS: about 30 days

May 28, 2004 Updated

Debris protection function was verified by shooting aluminum balls at the HTV at 6 km per second.

Upper Photo:  A mockup for the verification (The thick wall on the right is a solar array panel.)/Lower Photo:A solar panel from the back after the verification.; Each module of the Space Station including the Japan Experiment Module has a "debris bumper" for protecting itself from losing its functions by colliding with space debris.
The level of protection depends on the location (position) of each module and the probability of collision. Many technological ideas are incorporated to achieve the required protection effect, such as making the distance between the debris bumper and the pressurized wall longer.
Solar array panels around the HTV have been considered to be part of the protective walls, but they needed to be verified.
The verification was performed by a high-speed collision test using a HTV mockup. Aluminum balls of various sizes were shot at the protective walls at a speed of 6 km per second. After the test, the pressurized wall behind the protective walls was checked for holes. As a result, the solar array panels and the panel structure (an aluminum honeycomb structure) were verified to be effective for protection, and necessary data were also acquired for the further debris protection design assessment for the HTV.

Upper Photo: A mockup for the verification (The thick wall on the right is a solar array panel.)
Lower Photo:A solar panel from the back after the verification.

March 28, 2003 Updated

Manufacturing "Thermal Structural Test Models " for Tests in the Next Fiscal Year

Upper Photo: Structural Thermal Test Model for Main Structure. Lower Photo: Thermal Structural Test Model for Propulsion System "Helium Gas Supply Sub-Module" HTV is about four meters in diameter and a bit shorter than 10 meters in length. In other words, its size can be explained as a container that could accommodate a sightseeing bus. In the process of developing HTV, therefore, it is divided into four modules namely Logistic Carrier Pressurized section, Logistic Carrier Un-Pressurized section, Avionics module, and Propulsion module. Thermal structural test models are being manufactured for each module. A thermal structural test model is a mimic model to test it in simulated harsh launch and space environments for checking acoustic condition, vibration, shock at separation and endurance in the space.

The main structure is in conical semi-monocoque structure based on a launch vehicle design, and four modules will be assembled at the final fabrication phase and be tested for evaluating comprehensive strength and stiffness.

Furthermore, tests for evaluating strength, pressure, acoustic data, shock, and heat balance, and acquisition of resonance frequency will be carried out to collect data for specifying environmental conditions of onboard loads and to find environmental characteristics data. The series of these tests will start in the next fiscal year.

Upper Photo: Structural Thermal Test Model for Main Structure
Lower Photo: Thermal Structural Test Model for Propulsion System "Helium Gas Supply Sub-Module"

October 5, 2001 Updated

After HTV's arrival to International Space Station (ISS), Exposed Pallet is taken out of HTV, and cargoes are replaced by robotic arm. This Exposed Pallet has rollers on its sides to minimize the friction and to keep the position accurately when it is brought back to HTV.
A series of roller rotation slip tests was conducted from August to September 2001. The rollers are made of plastic to reduce the weight and they have solid lubricant on their surfaces. This combination of plastic and solid lubricant is rare. The purpose of this test is to confirm the manufacturing process and to collect the basic data of friction in the various environments (hot, cold, vacuum, air) and the wearing life.
In addition, by conducting the test with the full-size model, the friction data closer to the actual operation were collected. The data will be applied not only for the HTV design and robotics analysis but also the future satellite programs and space equipment.

Upper Photo: Setup for the rotation test in vacuum heat chamber
Lower Photo: Setup for the full-size roller test

June 29, 2001 Updated

Post Development Review of HTV Pressurized Carrier Aft Dome
NASDA conducted additional preliminary design review (delta-PDR) with lots of participant from NASA and CSA (including ISS program manager) at Tsukuba Space Center as following schedule.
Pre-Board Meeting : May 15th and 16th, 2001
Board Meeting : May 18th, 2001
We focused on two kinds of items in this review panel. One was a kind of additional items which were not reviewed in PDR held in 1999 (e.g.Un-pressurized carrier / Exposed pallet, GPS receivers in JEM, Crew operation panel, etc.) and another was a kind of items which had been changed the design from PDR (e.g. Solar power generation system, Approaching trajectory, etc.).
Prior to holding the review panel, NASDA delivered review documents toward NASA, CSA and ESA and received a thousand of "Review Item Disposition Sheets (RID)" on these documents. We determined all dispositions for these RIDs after the discussions within three weeks. NASDA/NASA/CSA founded a few issues related to the ISS safety in this review panel and we determined to give high priority to these issues.

Photo: HTV Delta-PDR Pre-Board Panel

June 29, 2001 Updated

Post Development Review of HTV Pressurized Carrier Aft Dome
NASDA conducted additional preliminary design review (delta-PDR) with lots of participant from NASA and CSA (including ISS program manager) at Tsukuba Space Center as following schedule.
Pre-Board Meeting : May 15th and 16th, 2001
Board Meeting : May 18th, 2001
We focused on two kinds of items in this review panel. One was a kind of additional items which were not reviewed in PDR held in 1999 (e.g.Un-pressurized carrier / Exposed pallet, GPS receivers in JEM, Crew operation panel, etc.) and another was a kind of items which had been changed the design from PDR (e.g. Solar power generation system, Approaching trajectory, etc.).
Prior to holding the review panel, NASDA delivered review documents toward NASA, CSA and ESA and received a thousand of "Review Item Disposition Sheets (RID)" on these documents. We determined all dispositions for these RIDs after the discussions within three weeks. NASDA/NASA/CSA founded a few issues related to the ISS safety in this review panel and we determined to give high priority to these issues.

Photo: HTV Delta-PDR Pre-Board Panel

February 19, 2001 Updated

Post Development Review of HTV Pressurized Carrier Aft Dome A pressurized carrier equipped in HTV was designed based on the JEM Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section (ELM-PS). NASDA determined to use a newly designed integral molded structure for the Aft Dome of pressurized carrier to reduce the weight of 260 kg and the similar structure has already been used by the propellant tanks of Launch vehicles. Similar to H-IIA rocket, MAN-Technologie in Germany took the charge of the development under the supervision of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries LTD. Through this development, MAN-Technologie cleared the manufacturing problems such as thickness, welding, strength, etc., and completed them successfully. The photo shows a manufacturing sample that will be used for following engineering tests in Japan. After this review, NASDA will start manufacturing of the Flight Model and mass production.

Photo: Aft Dome Structure for HTV Pressurized Carrier Engineering Test

December 8, 2000 Updated

Succeeding to the previous tests conducted from April 18 to 20, 2000, NASDA/NASA/CSA conducted a series of real-time HTV capturing operation tests with expanded SSRMS conditions, evaluators, and facility by following schedule.
Date: Nov. 8th to Nov. 10th, 2000
Place: Canadian Space Agency Headquarter in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, CANADA
In this series of tests, Astronaut Doi and other four astronauts executed total of up to 120 simulation- run cases with MOTS (MSS Operations and Training Simulator) in CSA, the facility with more complicated and numerous equipments. Just like previous tests, Astronauts evaluated the operability, by controlling SSRMS and executing capturing operation with free drifting HTV within predefined time. Though the results are still under investigation, the operation time was improved by re-designed operation sequence based on the experience in last tests.
Photo (Upper): Astronaut Doi trying to capture Photo (Lower): CSA members supporting

November 9, 2000 Updated

When crew enters HTV pressurized carrier berthed to ISS, it is necessary to circulate atmosphere in pressured cabin. The fan system for air circulation should meet several requirements such as large flow rate, low noise, lightweight, compact size, and high durability for severe environment during launch. Because each HTV mission period is relatively short, NASDA plans to develop a new air circulation fan system that is appropriate to HTV requirements.
NASDA is conducting a series of development tests with this new fan system in Shinko-Denki Co. The purpose of tests is to ensure the silent and low vibration design with multi-stage/coaxial concept and new blade/housing shape. NASDA will then review the test results and reflect them to the final fan design.

Photo: Test Setup

October 6, 2000 Updated

The Pre-Shipping Review (PSR) for 28 R-1E thrusters, that will be used for HTV attitude control was held by Primex Space Systems Co. in the United States. These thrusters will be delivered to Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co. Then after used in System Firing Test (SFT) in which NASDA confirms the Propulsion-system performance, they will be installed to the first HTV.
The same thrusters have been used in Space Shuttle for attitude control and they will be installed in Propulsion Module of International Space Station.

Photo: 28 sets of R-1E thruster (Offered by Primex Space Systems Co.)

July 7, 2000 Updated

HTV has two carrier sections, one is a pressurized section which carries the logistics to ISS pressurized section and another is an un-pressurized section which carries experiment devices in ISS exposed section. The exposed experiment devices will be taken out from un-pressurized section with exposed pallet by ISS manipulator (SSRMS).
From April 10 to June 8, NASDA had conducted Breadboard test in Mizuho facility of Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Ltd. for Paraffin Actuator that will be used for separation mechanism between exposed pallet and experiment devices. The Paraffin Actuator drives the output pin using phenomena of increasing of volume when paraffin changes its phases from solid to liquid and this attracts attention as a shock-less separation mechanism. In this series of tests, NASDA conducted a nominal driving test, environmental (vacuum/high temperature/low temperature) driving tests and a data-gathering test. NASDA obtained several data and the results will be used to improve the design of HCAM (HTV Cargo Attachment Mechanism).

May 26, 2000 Updated

HTV will perform autonomous rendezvous flight to the ISS, however, in the final operation, HTV will be captured by ISS manipulator system (SSRMS) controlled by ISS crew and be berthed to the ISS. Such operation is a peculiar requirement for HTV and we must confirm that it can be certainly captured by ISS crew within the limited time.
To investigate the feasibility of this operation, a series of SSRMS capturing simulation test was conducted at MD-R (MacDonald Dettwiler Space and Advanced Robotics Limited) in Brampton City, Ontario, Canada from April 18 through 20. Besides four astronauts including Mr. Takao Doi, engineers from NASDA, CSA, and NASA had joined this test.
In this simulation test, astronauts evaluated by controlling SSRMS and executing capturing operation in computer simulator: MDSF-RT (Manipulator Development and Simulation Facility in Real-Time) which HTV dynamics data from NASDA had been already input. Though details of the result are still under investigation, astronauts judged that this operation is feasible difficulty and it seemed that there are not any critical issues.

Photo: HTV Capture Real-Time Crew Evaluation (offered by MD-R)

April 21, 2000 Updated

In this month, NASA held the following safety review panel toconfirm the HTV safeness regarding to the International Space Station.
HTV Safety Review Panel (Phase 1): March 13th to March 17th at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
NASA holds the Safety Review Panel to all segments that compose the ISS and all approaching vehicles in rendezvousing to the ISS. Especially, HTV, which is the first newly designed transfer vehicle, turned out to be reviewed first in this panel. In this review panel, NASA and NASDA members had an animated discussion focused not only upon the hardware safety for the transfer vehicles such as logistics carrier and propulsion system but also upon the safety of flight-plan for rendezvous to the ISS. As a result, NASA confirmed the feasible of the HTV safety design and approved NASDA to progress the next design phase.

Photo: Safety Review Panel Members

January 31, 2000 Updated

PDR (Preliminary Design Review) for SIGI (Space Integrated GPSR/IMU) which is most important sensor of HTV Guidance and Navigation System was conducted at Honeywell co. in Tampa, Florida in United States from Dec. 9 to 10.
In addition to accelerometers and ring laser gyros for control of HTV attitude/maneuver, this sensor unifies GPS receiver for navigation into one package.
SIGI is also used in International Space Station to measure the attitude, and H764, the base of SIGI, are used in many aircraft.

Figure: HTV Guidance and Control Schematic

December 17, 1999 Updated

PDR (Preliminary Design Review) for Rendezvous Sensor which to be used during the HTV final approach was conducted at Daimler Chrysler Jena-Optronik in Jena, Germany from Nov.15 to 18. This sensor will also be used for ATV(Autonomous Transfer Vehicle) being developed by ESA.
We expect a cost reduction / risk decrease become possible by this joint supply of NASDA-ESA.

The figure: rendezous sensor function during final approach

November 19, 1999 Updated

NASDA conducted the Approach/Release (Rendezvous) Flight Technology Test on the ETS-VII, which has close relation to the HTV rendezvous technology from Oct. 26 to 27.
During the test, ETS-VII tried the R-bar approach which simulates the HTV final approach trajectory to the ISS. HIKOBOSHI satellite regarded as HTV, approached to the virtual R-bar formed by ORIHIME, using the algorithm developed for HTV. As a result, HIKOBOSHI raised the appropriate orbit within the expected corridor determined for rendezvous sensor and successfully finished at the 114 meters close.
We are now analyzing the data obtained from this experiment. It will greatly contribute to the establishment of all HTV flight algorithm.

September 17, 1999 Updated

NASDA held two major review meetings. One was the HTV Phase 1 Safety Review, which examined the HTV design from the point of safety. The another was HTV Preliminary Design Review (PDR), which examined the HTV design from the point of technique.
The safety review meeting was held from August 18 to 20. The safety design of HTV was generally confirmed. After some additional study, HTV project will take a NASA safety review.
The HTV PDR meeting was held by NASDA from August 23 to September 3. Approximately forty NASA, European Space Agency (ESA), and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) people attended the meeting and examined the HTV design. As the result of review, design of HTV was confirmed to be adequate. Therefore, the production of HTV Engineering Model (EM) and the progress to detailed design phase were admitted.

July 26, 1999 Updated

The documents for PDR (Preliminary Design Review), which will be conducted from July 15th to September 3rd have been released. These documents have also been sent to NASA, CSA, and ESA in the end of June.
We will continue to coordinate with reviewers of both NASDA and other organizations on matters which they point out until PDR Main Board.
At the same time, the documents for Phase 1 Safety Review have been released.