Wednesday, March 30, 2011

HTV2 Farewell

JAXA illustration of HTV2 burn up in atmosphere.

On Monday the crew of ISS detached the H-2 Transfer Vehicle (Japan) from its docking berth. Using the Robotic arm, the crew placed the robotic craft, nicknamed Kounotori 2, as far as it could reach from the station. After releasing the pod, the arm was retracted and mission controllers in Japan maneuvered the HTV2 away from the station.

Having fulfilled its job of bringing up needed supplies and more experiments for the station's Japanese Science module, the empty space in the craft has been filled with non-recyclable waste and other garbage. Now, mission control has sent the craft lower in orbit so that it will eventually burn up in the upper atmosphere. This event is scheduled to take place later this week.

According to, the crew of ISS folded several paper cranes and placed them in the pod as a show of respect for all those who were lost in the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

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