An unfurled Japanese supply ship will be brought to the International Space Station today (September 24) after a two-week delay due to a launch ramp fire, and you can follow the launch live on-line.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will do this Launch the unmanned spacecraft HTV-8 (also known as Kounotori8) from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on a H-IIB rocket towards the space station. Departure is scheduled for 12:05. EDT (1605 GMT). At the starting point it is Wednesday, 13:05 clock. You can watch the launch here live on NASA TV at 11:30 CET (1
HTV-8 transports more than 4 tons of supplies to the International Space Station for the six-man crew of the outpost. JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which built the H-IIB rocket, attempted to launch the HTV-8 mission on September 10, but a fire on the launch pad directly under the rocket forced them to cancel the launch.
Video: How Japan's HTV Cargo Ships Work
Related Topics: Japan's HTV Space Shuttle explains (infographic)
MHI representatives first named the fire for the company and JAXA was caused by an unexpected concentration of combustible oxygen vapor on the pad. "We have taken corrective action and confirmed the normal function of the rocket and the plant," it said in a statement.
"Starter Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has identified the cause of the fire and set the new launch date after corrective action was taken," NASA officials wrote in a statement.
"Kounotori, which means white stork in Japanese." "The ship will supply six new lithium-ion batteries and corresponding adapter plates to replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for two power channels in the station's far-off port truss segment," NASA said. "The batteries will be installed later this year by the crew members of the station through a series of robots and spacewalks."
Also on board HTV-8 is a small, experimental satellite optical communication system called SOLIS (designed to allow 100 Mbps downlink speed) The Hourglass experiment to test the effects of gravity on powders and granules and upgrade for The station's Cell Biology Experiment Facility, added NASA officials.
Japan's HTV cargo ships are shiny, golden, cylindrical spaceships designed for one-off deliveries to the International Space Station. They launch on JAXA's H-IIB missiles built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, hence their name: H-II Transfer Vehicle or HTV.
Photos: Japan's Robotic Space Cargo Fleet
Each HTV spacecraft contains an internal compartment that astronauts can access from inside the station and an external payload area for outdoor equipment such as the new one solar batteries. At the end of their mission, HTV vehicles are filled with garbage and released to deliberately burn in the earth's atmosphere.
HTV-8 is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Saturday (September 28) by astronauts using the robotic arm of the orbital laboratory. The spacecraft is then connected to an available docking port on the station's Harmony module.
NASA will webcast the arrival of HTV-8 on the space station on Saturday at 5:45 am (9:45 am). The acquisition of the robot arm is scheduled for 7:15 (1115 clock). NASA's webcast will be resumed on Saturday at 9:30 am (CET) to discuss the attachment of HTV-8 to the Harmony module.