Press Release

HTV6 Reentry to Earth's Atmosphere

February 6, 2017 (JST)

National Research and Development Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

JAXA announces that at 11:42 p.m., (Japan Standard Time, JST) February 5, 2017 KOUNOTORI6(HTV6), HIItransfer vehicle underwent its third deorbit maneuver and reentered Earth's atmosphere.

The atmospheric reentry marked the completion of HTV6's nearly 60 day-long mission of cargo transportation to the International Space Station.

Following is the estimated time of HTV's reentry to Earth's atmosphere and splashdown;

Reentry * :
approximately at 12:06 a.m.,(JST) February 6, 2017
12:18 a.m. through 0:42 a.m.,(JST) February 6, 2017

* Refers to reaching an altitude of approximately 120 kilometers.

For details, please go to;

JAXA's President, Naoki Okumura's Address
H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI6 Mission Completion

JAXA hereby announces that today the H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6), after completion of deorbit maneuver, reentered to Earth according to schedule. KOUNOTORI6 berthed to the International Space Station (ISS) on December 13, 2016 and remained docked for the following 45 days. While berthed with the ISS, KOUNOTORI6 transferred all of its pressurized and unpressurized cargo supplies and components, essential for the ISS operation. KOUNOTORI6 was thereafter reloaded with waste from the ISS. Its atmospheric reentry brought the KOUNOTORI6 mission to completion. This is the six consecutive mission success.

KOUNOTORI, an unmanned cargo transfer spacecraft with the largest payload capacity, plays a key role in the ISS operation.
KOUNOTORI6, with augmented cargo capabilities, delivered 6 Japanese-made lithium-ion battery cells to the ISS. The battery cells have already been installed and are working on the ISS. Successive KOUNOTORI launch vehicles, its seventh, eighth and ninth will deliver to the ISS all of the other batteries of the same type for the future replacement. These batteries provide with the ISS electrical power, which supports the basis of the most important resource for ISS operations.
KOUNOTORI6 also transferred J-SSOD, JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer with double capacity. J-SSOD discharged seven microsatellites, which domestic and foreign universities and institutions developed. There is an increasing demand for deploying small satellites. I am convinced that the successful deployment facilitates further international cooperation and joint research.

While KOUNOTOI6 departed from the ISS and reentered Earth, KOUNOTORI Integrated Tether Experiments, as known as KITE was carried out. Through KITE, JAXA seeks to verify electrodynamic tether technology to remove space debris. We could not unroll KITE's tether due to deployment system failure. However, the process was confirmed in which electricity was conducted from an electron emitter. Ongoing are detailed analysis on KITE results, which are expected to establish an efficient system to help remove space debris.

I would like to express my gratitude for the support and the contribution by the domestic and international organizations and Japanese citizens.

Naoki Okumura
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency