Japanese H-IIB Booster Suffers Fire on Launch Pad

The rocket remains intact, but the H-IIB rocket will not launch the HTV cargo ship to the International Space Station today.

This is a developing story. I will update as JAXA releases more information.

Japanese Cargo Ship Set to Launch to ISS

H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI8, the cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS), will launch aboard the H-IIB Vehicle No. 8 from JAXA Tanegashima Space Center as follows:

Date: Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Time: 6:33 a.m. JST (2133 GMT /5:33 p.m. EDT Tuesday, September 10)
Reserved Launch Period: September 12 through October 31, 2019
Arrival at ISS: Evening of September 14, 2019

JAXA Spacecraft to Carry Science, Technology to the Space Station

HTV in flight (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) cargo ship H-II Transfer Vehicle-8 (HTV-8) is scheduled to lift off Sept. 10 at 5:33 p.m. EDT (6:33 a.m. Japan Standard Time) to the International Space Station from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center, 10 years after JAXA launched its first HTV mission. HTV-8 arrives at the space station on Sept. 14.

Here are details about some of the scientific investigations and facilities heading to the orbiting lab on HTV-8.

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JAXA, Sony CSL to Conduct In-Orbit Demonstrations of Long-Distance Laser Communication Using ISS Kibo Module

Figure 1: SOLISS system flight model (Credit: JAXA/Sony CSL)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA, President: Hiroshi Yamakawa) and Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. (Sony CSL, President and CEO: Hiroaki Kitano) have announced their plans to conduct in-orbit demonstrations of the long-distance laser communication system, which they have jointly developed with the aim of establishing a real-time, mass-data communication system for future inter-satellite communications and communications with ground stations.

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Sierra Nevada to Provide Hardware for Japanese HTV-X ISS Missions

HTV-6 cargo ship approaches the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., May 31, 2019 (SNC PR) –Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the global aerospace and national security contractor owned by SNC CEO Fatih Ozmen and Chairwoman and President Eren Ozmen, teamed with the Marubun Corporation of Tokyo, Japan and has been awarded a contract to supply critical hardware for Japan’s HTV-X cargo spacecraft.

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JAXA Returns Capsule With ISS Experiments Aboard

HTV Small Re-entry Capsule (Credit: JAXA)

JAXA has successfully recovered a capsule with experiments aboard from the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time.

The HTV Small Re-entry Capsule (HSRC) splashed down in the ocean under a parachute near the island of Minamitorishima. The experimental capsule separated from the HTV-7 (Kounotori) resupply ship after the latter separated from ISS. Kounotori burned up in Earth’s atmosphere as planned.

Cross section image of HSRC (Credit: JAXA)

“Towards the goal to acquire Japan’s first cargo recovery capacity from the ISS, the Small Re-entry Capsule will be demonstrating its guided lift flight capabilities that will enable the capsule to descent under reduced G-forces, as well as its heat protection capability of the ablator while its re-entry into the atmosphere,” JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa said in a press release. “We expect that these efforts will lead to securing flexibility in our future space flight activities.”

HRSC provides another way to return experiments from the space station. SpaceX’s Dragon resupply ship is currently the only dedicated cargo vehicle that can return research. Russia’s crewed Soyuz vehicle has limited space available for experiments when there are three astronauts aboard.

HTV-7 carried approximately 6.2 metric tons of cargo to the space station. Supplies included new ISS batteries using Japanese Lithium-Ion batteries, large experiment racks provided by NASA and ESA,  three CubeSats and fresh food.











NASA Television to Air Departure of Japanese Cargo Ship from ISS

JAXA’s HTV attached to ISS. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — After delivering more than five tons of supplies, water, spare parts and experiments to the International Space Station, a Japanese cargo spacecraft is scheduled to depart the orbiting laboratory 11:50 a.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 7. Live coverage of the spacecraft’s release will begin at 11:30 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Ground controllers will use the space station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to detach the unpiloted H-II Transfer Vehicle-7 (HTV-7) of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) from an Earth-facing port of the station’s Harmony module, then move the spacecraft into its release position. Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA will use the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the HTV.

A new, small reentry capsule will be deployed from HTV-7 after release. Designed by JAXA and assembled by the station crew, the conically shaped capsule measures 2 feet in height and 2.7 feet in width. The project is a technology demonstration designed to test JAXA’s ability to return small payloads from the station for expedited delivery to researchers. HTV-7 will be a safe distance away from the space station after the last of several deorbit maneuvers before the capsule is ejected from a hatchway. The experimental capsule will perform a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Japan, where a JAXA ship will be standing by for its recovery.

Named “Kounotori,” or “white stork” in Japanese, the unpiloted cargo spacecraft delivered six new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates to replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries used in two power channels on the space station’s port truss. Flight controllers already have robotically removed the batteries and adapter plates from HTV-7 and stored them on the space station’s truss. The batteries will be replaced through a series of robotic operations and spacewalks that will be scheduled at a later date.

Additional experiments and equipment delivered by HTV include a new sample holder for the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (JAXA-ELF), a protein crystal growth experiment at low temperatures (JAXA LT PCG), an investigation that looks at the effect of microgravity on bone marrow (MARROW), a Life Sciences Glovebox, and additional EXPRESS Racks.

HTV-7 will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up harmlessly over the South Pacific Ocean Nov. 10.

The spacecraft lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on a Japanese H-IIB rocket on Sept. 22 (Sept. 23 in Japan), and arrived at the space station five days later. The cargo spacecraft will have been on the space station for 41 days at the time of release.

Get space station breaking news, images and features on social media at:

https://instagram.com/iss

and

https://www.twitter.com/Space_Station











JAXA Launches HTV-7 Supply Ship to International Space Station

JAXA’s HTV attached to ISS. (Credit: NASA)

TANEGASHIMA SPACE CENTER, Japan (JAXA PR) — At 2:52:27 a.m., September 23, 2018, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 7 (H-IIB F7) which carries aboard the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI7” (HTV7), the cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS), from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center.

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JAXA Pushes Back HTV-7 Launch Again

HTV-6 cargo ship approaches the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have cancelled launch of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 7(H-IIB F7) with aboard the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI7” (HTV7), the cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS).

The cancellation is because additional investigation became necessary of the H-IIB F7 propulsion system. The launch was scheduled for September 15, 2018, from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center.

Launch schedule updates will be informed when determined.

MHI Launch Services -H-IIA/H-IIB Launch Vehicle-
https://www.mhi.com/products/space/launch_service.html

Reference links for further information:
http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/h2b/
http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/htv/index.html

URL:
http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2018/09/20180915_h2bf7.html











Japan Postpones HTV Launch Until Saturday Due to Weather

HTV-6 cargo ship approaches the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Due to an unfavorable weather forecast for the launch day, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have postponed the launch of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 7 (H-IIB F7) which carries aboard the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI7” (HTV7), the cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS) from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center. The launch was rescheduled for September 14, 2018. Below is the updated schedule.

MHI and JAXA will consider the weather forecast for the coming days and determine if the updated launch date is available.

Launch Date: September 15, 2018
Launch Time: around 6:00 a.m. (Japan Standard Time, JST) *1

Reserved Launch Period: September 16 through October 31, 2018 *2

*1: Launch time is determined by the latest update of the ISS operations.
*2: Launch time and date during this period are pending, to be determined by the ISS operations and other status.

MHI Launch Services -H-IIA/H-IIB Launch Vehicle-
https://www.mhi.com/products/space/launch_service.html

Reference links for further information:
http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/h2b/
http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/htv/index.html

URL:
http://global.jaxa.jp/press/2018/09/20180912_h2bf7.html











HTV7 Mission to Fly Experiment Recovery Capsule to International Space Station

HTV Small Re-entry Capsule (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — In the mission of HTV7 (“KOUNOTORI 7”), after completing the re-supply mission to ISS, HTV7 will demonstrate the novel technology for recovering experiment samples from ISS, which Japan has not obtained up until now, by taking advantage of the opportunity of re-entry into Earth with the HTV Small Re-entry Capsule (HSRC) that will be loaded on the HTV for the first time ever.
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Preventing Collisions Between Debris and Spacecraft


JAXA has published the following Q&A interview with  Mayumi Matsuura, the space agency’s space situation awareness (SSA) system project manager.

— What is the current state of space debris monitoring in Japan?

Kamisaibara Spaceguard Center (Credit: JAXA)

Space debris is monitored at the Kamisaibara Spaceguard Center and the Bisei Spaceguard Center, both in Okayama Prefecture. At Kamisaibara, we use radar to monitor debris in low Earth orbit (LEO) up to an altitude of approximately 2,000 km. Although the size of debris that can be monitored depends on its altitude, we can simultaneously track a total of 10 targets 1 meter or more in diameter. At Bisei, we use an optical telescope, which allows us to monitor debris in geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) at an altitude of 36,000 km.

JAXA analyzes data from these facilities to pinpoint debris orbit and position, and when this data and other inputs show that there is a possibility of debris colliding with satellites, a warning is issued to the satellite team. This is the role of the Space Tracking and Communications Center (STCC), where I work. To avoid being hit by debris, all you need to do is change your orbit, so the center prepares detailed proposals on when and how to do this. In some cases, debris is expected not to burn up on reentry into the atmosphere, but to fall back to Earth. In these situations, my job is to predict where it will reenter the atmosphere.
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Japanese Space Debris Removal Experiment Hits Snag

Electrodynamic tether deployed from cargo ship. (Credit: JAXA)

JAXA’s effort to test an electrodynamic tether (EDT) that could help clean up orbital space debris has hit a snag, Japanese media report.

The 700 meter (2,297 ft) long tether was to have deployed from the Kounotori resupply ship after it separated from the International Space Station on Jan. 27. However, JAXA says the tether, which had a mass on the end that weights about 20 kg (44 lb.), did not deploy as planned.

The agency planned to continue trying to try to deploy the tether through Saturday (today). The supply ship is scheduled to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere on Monday.

The tether is designed to slow down a piece of debris by running an electrical current through it. The current will hasten the entry of the debris into the Earth’s atmosphere.

“JAXA plans to perform Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiments (KITE) in order to establish and demonstrate EDT technology and to obtain some EDT characteristics, such as tether deployment dynamics, and electron emission and collection in space plasma,” the space agency says on its website.

“KITE will help us identify the features and key technologies necessary to design and develop an EDT system as a method for improving space safety by removing large debris,” the website states.











Orbital Launch Statistics for 2016

The Soyuz MS-02 rocket is launched with Expedition 49 Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Ryzhikov, Kimbrough, and Borisenko will spend the next four months living and working aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)
The Soyuz MS-02 rocket is launched with Expedition 49 Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Part 2 of 2

There were 85 orbital launches in 2016, not including the Falcon 9 that exploded on launch pad prior to a pre-flight engine test. The launches break down as follow:

  • United States: 22 (22-0)
  • China: 22 (20-1-1)
  • Russia: 19 (18-1)
  • Europe: 9 (9-0)
  • India: 7 (7-0)
  • Japan: 4 (4-0)
  • Israel: 1 (1-0)
  • North Korea: 1 (1-0)

For a more detailed description of these launches, please read US, China Led World in Launches in 2016.

Let’s look at launches by booster and spaceport and the flights that were required for human spaceflight.
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USA, China Led World in Launches in 2016

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the OA-6 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. (Credit: ULA)
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the OA-6 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. (Credit: ULA)

Part 1 of 2

The United States and China led the world in orbital launch attempts in 2016 with 22 apiece. The combined 44 launches made up more than half of the 85 flights conducted around the world.

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