Thursday, September 17, 2009

Capture! Space Station Grapples Japan's HTV

The crew aboard the international space station plucked a new cargo craft from orbit this afternoon, seven days following its launch from Japan on a resupply mission with five tons of cargo.

The unmanned cargo craft known as H-II Transfer Vehicle was grappled by space station flight engineer Nicole Stott at 3:47 pm EDT, today as the orbital pair crossed 225 miles above western Romania in orbital darkness.

Following capture, applause broke out in Houston's Mission Control. Stott later made a special toast with her Expedition 20 crew, "We all just want to say Congratulations... we are so, so happy to have this vehicle here... we are gonna raise our drink bags and drink a special water toast here..."

The HTV is loaded with nearly five tons of equipment and supplies which the crew of six will open on Friday. Click on the HTV graphic for a larger view of the compartments.

The HTV will remain docked with the Harmony module until November 1st.

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