A robotic Japanese cargo ship successfully arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday (September 28th), carrying over 4 tonnes of supplies, including new batteries for the station's solar energy network.
The Japanese Aerospace Research Agency (JAXA) Cargo Ship HTV-8 escaped to the space station at 7:12 a.m. EDT (1112 GMT), where it was captured by a robotic arm operated by NASA astronaut Christina Koch in the orbital laboratory . The station and the HTV-8, also known as Kunotori 8 (Kunotori stands for White Stork), were 262 miles (422 kilometers) above Angola in South Africa at that time.
"All you have all done is testify to what we can achieve when international teams work together to achieve a common goal," Koch broadcasts at NASA Mission Control in Houston and Flight Controllers at the Tsukuba Space Center in Japan at JAXA. "We are honored to have Kounotori on board and look forward to a successful and productive mission together."
Later today, Earth's flight controllers will use the station's robotic arm to attach the HTV-8 to a flip-up to Earth on the US-built Harmony module.
Video: How HTV cargo ships operate in Japan
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] JAXA released -8 on H-IIB rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on September 24th. The spacecraft is filled with food, water, experimental hardware and other supplies for the crew of the station.
Chief among the HTV-8's load are six new lithium-ion batteries to replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries on two of the outlet feed channels. NASA astronauts will replace the batteries during a series of space shuttles next month, NASA officials said. During these space paths, astronauts will repair a $ 2 billion space detector called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 using tools supplied by HTV-8, according to Spaceflight Now.
Photos: Japan Robotic Fleet for Spacecraft
The HTV-8 also carries a new prototype laser communication system called the Small Optical Interconnector for International Space Station, developed by JAXA and Sony Computer Science Laboratories to enhance data communication speed . with the space station.
"Long-range laser communication technology enables the transformation of our real-time broadband communication society around the world, as well as the expansion of the human sphere and increased activity in space," Sony CSL President Hiroaki Kitano said in a statement. 19659002] Other cargoes of the HTV-8 include a new facility for cell biology experiments, several small CubeSats, and an experiment called Hourglass to test the gravitational effects on dust and granular materials.
The Japanese HTV spacecraft is part of a robotic spacecraft fleet designed to ferry fresh deliveries to the International Space Station. At the end of its mission, the HTV-8 will be stuffed with garbage and unnecessary items, separated from the station and commanded to burn into the earth's atmosphere for disposal.