National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) has announced it aired the launch of a Japanese cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station, the administration said.
The cargo spacecraft was loaded with more than four tons of supplies, spare parts and experiment hardware.
The spacecraft will arrive at the station Saturday, Sept. 14. Live coverage of the spacecraft rendezvous and capture will begin at 5:30 a.m. Expedition 60 Flight Engineer Christina Koch of NASA, backed up by her NASA crewmate Andrew Morgan, will operate the station´s Canadarm2 robotic arm from the station´s cupola to capture the 12-ton spacecraft as it approaches from below. Robotics flight controllers will then take over the operation of the arm to install HTV-8 to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module where it will spend a month attached. Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) will monitor HTV-8 systems during its approach to the station.
Named Kounotori, meaning white stork in Japanese, the craft will deliver six new lithium-ion batteries and corresponding adapter plates that will replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for two power channels on the station´s far port truss segment. The batteries will be installed through a series of robotics and spacewalks by the station´s crew members later this year.