Thursday, September 17, 2009

Japan's HTV Cargo Craft Near Space Station

The new Japanese H-2 Transfer Vehicle is ready to be plucked from the ocean of space this afternoon and docked to the international space station, as the crew of six receives new supplies and equipment.

New Expedition 20 astronaut Nicole Stott will use the space station's robotic arm to grapple and slowly guide the cargo craft over to a soft docking at 3:50 pm EDT today.

The H-II unmanned craft was launched from the
Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on September 10, and has spent the past week flying at a lower altitude as it slowly caught up with the station.

The H-II craft will move to an attitude of 10 meters from the station and Stott will reach the Canadian built arm out and capture the module at it's center. She will then dock it to the Harmony port.

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