Expedition 63 - HTV 9 JAXA Launch - May 20, 2020

Expedition 63 - HTV 9 JAXA Launch - May 20, 2020

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JAPANESE CARGO SHIP BEGINS JOURNEY TO THE SPACE STATION

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan May 20 to send the agency’s H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-9) on a five-day journey to deliver experiments and supplies to the residents of the International Space Station. Around sixteen minutes after launch, the unpiloted cargo craft, named “Kounotori” --- the Japanese word for white stork --- reached its preliminary orbit for the start of its chase to reach the orbital outpost. The highlight of the more than four tons of cargo being carried on the HTV-9 is a final set of new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates to be installed on the far starboard truss of the station later this year during a series of spacewalks to complete a multi-year upgrade of the station’s power system.