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September 9-15, 2019 / Vol 38, No 36 / Hawai’i Island, USA

6 Sep 2019, 19:50 UTC
September 9-15, 2019 / Vol 38, No 36 / Hawai’i Island, USA
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ISS HTV-8 Launch to Carry New Batteries and Experiments in Anticipation of Lunar-Capable HTV-X

The 8th Japan ‘Kounotori’ (Stork) H-2 Transfer Vehicle (HTV-8) launch is scheduled for September 10 atop H-2B booster from Tanegashima Space Center to ISS. HTV-8 carries 3,400 kg payload in a pressurized compartment and 1,900 kg of unpressurized payload. It will deliver 6 new 200-kg lithium-ion batteries to replace older nickel-hydrogen batteries for ISS power during times of low sunlight. Among the JAXA experiments aboard Kounotori is Hourglass, which will investigate the behavior of small dust particles in reduced gravity. To prepare for docking, ISS crew have completed checkout of the Proximity Communication System (PROX) to be used for contact with HTV-8. On October 21 Northrop Grumman Cygnus NG-12 will be launched to ISS aboard an Antares launcher. The Cygnus module is selected by NASA in a sole-source contract as the basis for a lunar orbital habitat. In Oct Boeing plans an uncrewed launch of Starliner on an Atlas V to ISS, vying with SpaceX to be first to return astronauts to space in an American spacecraft. HTV-9, planned for Feb 2020, will carry 6 more lithium-ion batteries and the Australia CUAVA-1 satellite. The new HTV-X, ...

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