HTV-4 Ready for Launch to ISS Today

Ready for Liftoff Credit :  JAXA

Ready for Liftoff
Credit : JAXA

The Japanese Space Agency, JAXA, is  poised to launch its fourth automated supply vessel to the International Space Station. Liftoff aboard the H-IIB carrier rocket is scheduled for 4:48:46 AM Japan Standard Time  (Sunday in Japan) 3:48 pm Saturday US Eastern.  The  launch will be broadcast on NASA television, as well here. The HTV, which is called Kounotori, or  “white stork” is comprised of both  pressurized and unpressurized segments, the former is loaded with 3.9 tons  food, supplies and experiments. The external segment is loaded with ISS replacement hardware including a Main Bus Switching Unit, which routes electrical power through the station, as well as a NASA payload Space Test Program. The  launch vehicle for today’s  mission, the H-IIB is a two  stage hydrogen / oxygen booster aided on liftoff by four solid strap-on boosters is built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.  JAXA’s newest launch vehicle, the Epsilon, is a small three stage solid core booster which utilizes a derivative of the H-II series strap on as the first stage.  The Epsilon is scheduled to make its maiden flight on August 22.

Posted in: NASA, Space Stations

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