NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet captured and berthed Japan’s HTV-6 supply craft on 14 December using the International Space Station’s 17 m-long Canadarm2 robotic arm.
The H-II Transfer Vehicle, or HTV, is also called Kounotori – Japanese for ‘white stork’. The sixth craft in the series, it was launched from Japan’s Tanegashima spaceport on 9 December.
Setting up a temporary robotics workstation in the Station’s Cupola observatory module, the astronauts monitored the approaching six-tonne craft until it stopped 10 m from the Station. Working two joysticks, Shane moved Canadarm2 to grasp HTV-6 before berthed it at the Station’s Harmony module.