Japan’s sixth HTV supply ship is slated to depart a picturesque spaceport on Tanegashima Island on Friday to start a four-day pursuit of the International Space Station with a cache of experiments, supplies and six lithium-ion batteries to begin overhauling the orbiting lab’s vast electrical system.
A Japanese H-2A rocket launched from Tanegashima Island on Wednesday with the Himawari 9 weather observatory bound for a perch more than 22,000 miles above Earth to improve forecasting in the Asia-Pacific. Liftoff of the 17-story rocket from southern Japan occurred at 0620 GMT (2:20 a.m. EDT) Wednesday.
Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, Japanese flight engineer Takuya Onishi and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins departed the International Space Station on Saturday and headed for a homecoming in Kazakhstan to wrap up a 115-day expedition in orbit. Undocking occurred at 8:35 p.m. EDT Saturday (0035 GMT Sunday), with an on-target landing more than three hours later at 11:58 p.m. EDT (0358 GMT).