Press Release


Successful re-entry of H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI4” (HTV4)

September 7, 2013 (JST)

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

The H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI4” (HTV4) successfully re-entered the atmosphere after the third de-orbit maneuver at 3:11 p.m. on September 7, 2013 (Japanese Standard Time, JST).

The “KOUNOTORI4” has successfully accomplished the main objective of shipping cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), and completed its 36-day mission.

The estimated date/time for the re-entry and waterlanding are as follows (Japanese Standard Time):
Estimated re-entry*: September 7, 2013 / 3:37 p.m.
Estimated waterlanding: September 7, 2013 / 3:49 p.m. - 4:05 p.m.
* Altitude at 120 km

Reference link: For more details, please refer to the following website:

Comment by JAXA President
Completion of the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI4”
(HTV4) mission

Today we would like to announce that the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI4” (HTV4) has successfully completed its mission encompassing a de-orbit maneuver, re-entry into the atmosphere, and safe splashdown to the expected ocean area.
Having successfully berthed to the International Space Station (ISS) on August 10, 2013, the “KOUNOTORI4” remained docked for approximately 26 days, while all of the internal and external cargo were transferred to the ISS. Subsequently, the “KOUNOTORI4” mission has finished with its re-entry today.

With its unique capability of mix loading the cargoes, the “KOUNOTORI4” (HTV4) succeeded in conveying the ISS system spares, in addition to the subsistence goods for the ISS crews and experiment devices. Following four successful missions in a row, the “KOUNOTORI” has revealed the Japanese outstanding value on its technology of space vehicles to the global society. It is my great honour to mention that the U.S. spacecraft Cygnus, whose demonstration flight is scheduled on 18th this month, has adopted Japan’s original rendezvous flight system. I am confident that this fact proves the strong presence of Japan in the field of human spaceflight development.

Finally, regarding this “KOUNOTORI4” mission, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all domestic and overseas organizations, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the prime contractor, and individuals concerned for their tremendous cooperation and support to date.
JAXA will further promote the utilization of the ISS and the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”, and continue successful cargo transportation using the KOUNOTORI based on international agreements. Your continued support and cooperation will be greatly appreciated.
September 7, 2013

Naoki Okumura
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)