The H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI2" (HTV2) successfully re-entered the atmosphere after the third de-orbit maneuver at 11:44 a.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 (JST).
The HTV2 successfully accomplished the main objective of shipping cargo to the International Space Station, and completed all of its missions over 67 days with today's re-entry.
The estimated times for re-entry and water landing are as follows: (Times are in JST)
Estimated re-entry time*: around 0:09 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Estimated water landing time: between 0:21 and 0:41 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, 2011
*Altitude at 120 km
Reference link: For more details, please refer to the following website:
Mission Completion of HTV2 Flight
Today, the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI2" (HTV2) successfully de-orbited and re-entered the atmosphere as planned.
The HTV2 stayed at the International Space Station (ISS) for about 60 days after successfully berthing to the ISS on January 28. During its stay, various loaded cargo, both pressurized and unpressurized, were transferred to the ISS, and today, the HTV2 successfully completed all of its planned missions with its re-entry.
The HTV2 carried various important cargo, including spare units of the external ISS system and potable water for the crew, which has been mostly transported by the Space Shuttle up to now. I believe that this success proves that the HTVs are reliable transportation vehicles essential for maintaining the ISS, and that Japan, as an international partner of the ISS, is eligible to play an important role for ISS operations. The series of success with the HTV1 and HTV2 missions demonstrate highly qualified safety and reliability of the unmanned cargo transporter, that uses unique rendezvous technology to be berthed to the manned ISS. Through successive HTV operations, highly sophisticated operation techniques will be accumulated by the Flight Control team lead by Flight Directors as well as by the Engineering Support team, so that they should enable further evolution of Japan's manned space development.
Finally, I would like to express my profound appreciation to all domestic and overseas personnel and organizations concerned, as well as to everyone who has supported our mission, for their generous cooperation and support during the mission, from the "KOUNOTORI2" (HTV2) launch by H-IIB Launch Vehicle, through to today's successful re-entry.
JAXA intends to further promote the utilization of the ISS and its Japanese Experiment Module, Kibo, and to regularly transport cargo by HTV to the ISS as scheduled. Your continued support and cooperation will be very much appreciated.
March 30, 2011