NASA TV To Broadcast Japanese Cargo Craft Flight To Space Station
NASA plans live television coverage of the launch, grapple and berthing of the second unpiloted Japanese cargo ship that will deliver more than four tons of food and supplies to the International Space Station.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scheduled to launch an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 12:29 a.m. CST (3:29 p.m. Japan time) on Thursday, Jan. 20. The launch vehicle will send the Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) into orbit on a week-long rendezvous with the station. “Kounotori” is the Japanese word for white stork, emblematic of delivering happiness and joy.
On Jan. 27, Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli will command the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, to reach out, grapple Kounotori2, and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.
In the following days, a pallet loaded with spare station parts will be extracted from a slot in the cargo ship and attached to an experiment platform outside the Japanese Kibo module. Other cargo will be transferred internally to the station.
The cargo vehicle will be filled with trash, detached from the station and sent to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere at the end of March.
NASA Television’s programming schedule for HTV2 events includes (all times CST):
Thursday, Jan. 20:
12 a.m. – Launch coverage, anchored from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, begins. Launch is scheduled at 12:29 a.m.
Thursday, Jan. 27:
5 a.m. – Grapple coverage, anchored from Johnson, begins. The grapple of HTV2 is scheduled at 5:44 a.m.
8 a.m. – Berthing coverage, anchored from Johnson, begins. The attachment should be complete at approximately 10 a.m.
For more information about Kounotori2 and the H-IIB launch vehicle, visit: http://www.jaxa.jp/countdown/h2bf2/index_e.html
For more information about the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station
For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv