The Japanese robotic cargo ship, held at the International Space Station on Wednesday (November 7th) at the weekend, is forgotten to complete a successful supply mission.
Astronautics station delivered HTV-7 delivery vessels from the station using a robot arm at noon. 11:51 EST (1651 GMT), as both spacecraft rode 254 miles above the North Pacific. Japan's Cosmic Research Agency (JAXA) launched a cargo ship to the station at the end of September to supply fresh food, scientific tools and other supplies of over 5 tonnes (4.5 metric tons).
"The 57 crew members of the expedition would like to thank the entire JAXA program and engineering teams for the design and execution of the HTV-7 re-supply mission," station commander Aleksandr Gersts from the Mission Control of the European Space Agency after the successful shutdown. He added that the cargo ship is an essential part of truly international efforts to support the world's only space station. Gerst used a robot arm to release HTV-7 with NASA's astronaut, Serena Aunon-Chancellor. [Japan’s Huge HTV Space Truck Explained (Infographic)]
JAXA HTV cargo ships (short for H-2 transmission vehicles) are disposable spacecraft designed to collect tons of space supplies to the space station, and then depart and intentionally burn the Earth's atmosphere at the end of the mission. A spacecraft known as Kounotori (the "white stork" of Japan) is part of a robot cargo ship fleet from Japan, Russia, the European Union and the United States, which has held a station for the last 18 years.
The HTV-7 has delivered critical supplies to the International Space Station team, including six new orbits for laboratory solar power. There were also two small cubes in the cosmic lift experiment (which was placed on October 6th) and a small re-entry capsule that will first attempt to give experiments to Earth on the ground in Japan. If everything goes well, the capsule will be placed just before HTV-7 returns to Earth on the South Pacific on Saturday (November 10th), NASA officials said.
The HTV's small return capsule is called a cone-shaped vehicle 2.7 ft. In width (0.8 meters), 2.1 ft in length (0.6 m) and weighs 397 pounds (180 pounds).
"The return capsule will be removed from the hatch after the burning of hot fuel," NASA officials said. "An experimental capsule on the shores of Japan will take on a parachute boom where the JAXA ship will be in its recovery."
NASA officials said the capsule has the results of a protein crystal growth experiment.
Gerst wanted the team behind the re-entry capsule in the upcoming technology test. It was he and his expedition 57 team members who packed the capsule with their experimental load and added it to the HTV-7 hatch.
"We congratulate all involved engineers for the success of the development of a small reciprocal capsule and we want the best possible, most interesting, returning capsule mission for the phase: re-entry and landing."