Japan's HII-Transfer Vehicle to berth with ISS

HTV captured by the Station's robotic arm
17 September 2009

The Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle is scheduled to dock to the International Space Station today at 21:50 CEST (19:50 UT) when the crew will berth the vehicle to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node using the Station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.

Launched on 10 September from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, the first H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-1) is carrying about 3.5 tonnes of supplies to the Station.

Having completed a sequence of operations to demonstrate its range of capabilities, the HTV-1 will tonight approach to a point just below the International Space Station (ISS).

Station crewmembers, NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bob Thirsk and ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, will then use the Station's robotic arm, Canadarm 2, to grapple the HTV and berth it to the Earth-facing (nadir) port on the Harmony module.

Later in the attached phase of the HTV-1 mission, De Winne will operate the Japanese robotic arm to attach and unpack the Japanese Exposed Pallet on the outside of the Japanese Kibo laboratory.

HTV-1 is scheduled to remain docked to the ISS for at least 30 days.

Watch the berthing live

Via JAXA:
www.jaxa.jp/countdown/h2bf1/live/index_e.html

Via NASA TV, coverage starts at 21:00 CEST (19:00 UT):
www.nasa.gov/ntv

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