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August 5-11, 2013 / Vol 32, No 31 / Hawai`i Island, USA

2 Aug 2013, 20:48 UTC
August 5-11, 2013 / Vol 32, No 31 / Hawai`i Island, USA
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JAXA HTV-4 to Berth with ISS, Deliver Cargo and Talking Robot

The 4th JAXA H-2 Transfer Vehicle (HTV-4) is set to be captured by the Canadarm2, manipulated by Karen Nyberg (L), on August 9 and berthed with the Harmony module. Chris Cassidy (C) is the back-up for Nyberg, and Luca Parmitano (R) will monitor HTV systems during grapple and berthing operations. It is scheduled to be launched Aug 4 on an H-2B rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in Southern Japan. Also called Kounotori (White Stork), the HTV is a 10-m long, 4.4-m diameter spacecraft with 4 main thrusters and 28 attitude control thrusters. It will deliver about 5,400 kg of cargo including a talking robot named Kirobo that will participate in the first human-robot conversation in space, Adzuki beans for the APRSAF educational space experiment project (SSAF2013), and a Vietnam / Japan low-resolution Earth imaging cubesat ‘PicoDragon’ to be deployed from the Kibo module. After being filled with ISS waste, including NASA engineering experiment module STP-H3, HTV-4 is scheduled to undock September 8 and burn up upon reentering Earth’s atmosphere. JAXA is planning to add a return capsule option capable of returning 1,600 kg of cargo to Earth in 2018, ...

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