H-IIB Launch Vehicle Topics

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Feb. 6, 2017 Updated
KOUNOTORI6 completed its mission with re-entry!

The KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) left the ISS on Jan. 28 and re-entered the atmosphere at around 0:06 a.m. on Feb. 6 (Japan Standard Time.)

KOUNOTORI6 completed its mission with re-entry!

Dec. 13, 2016 Updated
KOUNOTORI6 berthed at ISS!

The cargo transporter to the International Space Station, KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6) was captured with the robotic arm of the International Space Station (ISS) at 7:39 p.m. on December 13 (Japan Standard Time) and berthed to the ISS at 3:24 a.m. on December 14 (JST). The KOUNOTORI6 was launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.6 on December 9.
Astronauts aboard the ISS will shortly unload the pressurized and unpressurized logistic carriers of HTV6 and will transfer the cargo into the ISS. The payload includes food, drinking water, the new Japanese-made lithium ion battery and 7 microsatellites.

KOUNOTORI6 berthed at ISS!

Dec. 10, 2016 Updated
KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6 Successfully Launched

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 with cargo transporter to the International Space Station, the KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6) aboard lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 22:26:47 on December 9. (Japan Standard Time)
The launch vehicle flew smoothly and 15 minutes and 11 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the HTV6 was confirmed. The HTV6 will gradually get closer to and will be berthed at the ISS. Don’t miss the live docking coverage on our website.

KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6 Successfully Launched

Dec. 8, 2016 Updated
KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6 launch time decided! Live broadcast from 9:35 p.m. on December 9 (Fri.)

The launch time of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 with the KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) was set for 10:26:47 p.m. on December 9 (Fri.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time.)
JAXA will broadcast a live launch report from the Tanegashima Space Center from 9:35 p.m. on the 9th. You can watch it through the Internet. Please have a look!

 KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6 launch time decided! Live broadcast from 9:35 p.m. on December 9 (Fri.)

Oct. 19, 2016 Updated
KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6) Makes Debut to Media

On October 19, members of the media were invited to view KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6), H-II transfer vehicle to the Space Station. The event was held at Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) and attracted many as it showed actual HTV6 before launch.
At the premiere, Hirohiko Uematsu, Director of HTV Technology Center, Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, JAXA explained the general facts and the payloads of HTV6, and addressed the records of past HTV operations, improvements, and the progress of launch preparation.
Koichi Inoue, Team Leader of KITE, Research and Development Directorate, JAXA spoke about KITE, Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiment. JAXA is making an attempt of on-orbit demonstration of electrodynamic tether (EDT) on HTV. KITE is expected to develop the system which through the use of EDT eliminates space debris on low-earth orbits. The tether length is approximately 700 m, on an unprecedented scale. Space debris has increasingly become a serious issue.
HTV6 will shortly undergo its final preparation procedure, where loading of propellant, encapsulation in its payload fairing, and docking to HTV6 will ensue. The launch is scheduled at around 10:26 pm on December 9 (Fri.), (Japan Standard Time) (subject to change by the international coordination for ISS operations) at TNSC.

KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6) Makes Debut to Media

Oct. 7, 2016 Updated
Launch Schedule of “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6) Updated to December 9

The launch schedule of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 with the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6) on board, temporarily postponed has been updated to around 10:26 p.m. on December 9 (Fri.), (Japan Standard Time, JST).
JAXA appreciates messages to KOUNOTORI mission and the project team. Please write to following site.

Launch Schedule of “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6) Updated to December 9

Aug. 10, 2016 Updated
Launch Postponement of “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6)

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and JAXA decided to postpone the launch of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 with “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6) onboard which was scheduled for October 1 (Sat.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time), as unfavorable.
The new launch date will be announced as soon as it is determined.
(Reason for the delay)
A slight leak was detected from piping of the HTV6 during an air tightness test. The test is part of HTV6 launch preparations at the launch site. We will disband the HTV6 module and take necessary measures.

Launch Postponement of “KOUNOTORI6” (HTV6)

Jul. 26, 2016 Updated
Launch day set for KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6!

The launch date and time for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 (H-IIB F6) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI6" (HTV6) onboard was set for around 2:16 a.m. on October 1 (Sat.), 2016 (Japan Standard Time).
* Launch time will be determined by the updated orbit of the ISS.
We welcome your support messages to KOUNOTORI6 mission and its project team members!

Launch day set for KOUNOTORI6/H-IIB F6!

Aug. 19, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 successfully launched by H-IIB F5!

The KOUNOTORI5, a regular cargo transporter to space, was launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No.5 (H-IIB F5) at 8:50:49 p.m. on August 19 (Wed.) 2015 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 14 minutes and 54 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the KOUNOTORI5 was confirmed.
The KOUNOTORI5 will fly near the International Space Station, and Astronaut Yui will maneuver the robotic arm to capture it. We plan to broadcast his performance through the Internet from around 7:05 p.m. on Aug. 24 (Mon.) Please don't miss it!

KOUNOTORI5 successfully launched by H-IIB F5!

Aug. 17, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 launch rescheduled to 8:50:49 p.m. on August 19 (Wed.) 2015

The KOUNOTORI5(HTV5)/H-IIB F5 launch was postponed to 8:50:49 p.m. on August 19 due to adverse weather.
Accordingly, the live launch report will begin at 8:00 p.m. on August 19 (Wed. , JST). The report will be broadcast through the Internet.
Please send your support messages for the mission, or tweet it including the hashtag #HTV5.

KOUNOTORI5 launch rescheduled to 8:50:49 p.m. on August 19 (Wed.) 2015

Aug. 14, 2015 Updated
KOUNOTORI5 launch postponed to Aug. 17 (Mon., JST)

The launch date of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5 carrying the KOUNOTORI5 has been postponed as unfavorable weather is forecasted. The launch was originally scheduled for August 16. The live broadcast of the launch will also be put off accordingly.
Your support messages are very much welcome through Twitter (Hashtag “#HTV5”) or via the following website.

KOUNOTORI5 launch postponed to Aug. 17 (Mon., JST)

Jun. 9, 2015 Updated
Launch day set for KOUNOTORI5/H-IIB F5!

The launch date and time for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5 (H-IIB F5) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) onboard was set for around 10:01 p.m. on August 16 (Sun.), 2015 (Japan Standard Time).
The H-IIB F5 has already been transported to the TNSC, and it is now being assembled there.
* Launch time will be determined by the updated orbit of the ISS.

Launch day set for KOUNOTORI5/H-IIB F5!

Aug. 4, 2013 Updated
Launch Success of KOUNOTORI4/H-IIB F4

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 with the KOUNOTORI4 (HTV4, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) onboard lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at4:48:46 a.m. on August 4 (Sun., Japan Standard Time.)
The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and at 14 minutes and 59 seconds after liftoff, the KOUNOTORI4 separation was confirmed.
The KOUNOTORI4 will gradually go closer to the International Space Station, and it will be berthed at the ISS. We will broadcast the berthing on our website, so don't miss it!

Launch Success of KOUNOTORI4/H-IIB F4

May 21, 2013 Updated
KOUNOTORI4/H-IIB F4 launch schedule decided!

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 4 (H-IIB F4) carrying the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV4, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) will be launched on August 4 (Sunday, Japan Standard Time.) The launch time will be around 4:48 a.m. (JST.) It will be blasted off from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegahsima Space Center. Why don't you take this opportunity to come to Tanegahima to witness the liftoff at hand!

Jul. 21, 2012 Updated
Launch Success of KOUNOTORI3/H-IIB F3

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 3 with the KOUNOTORI3 (HTV3, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) onboard lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 11:06:18 on July 21 (Sat., Japan Standard Time.)
The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and at 14 minutes and 53 seconds after liftoff, the KOUNOTORI3 separation was confirmed.
The KOUNOTORI3 will gradually go closer to the International Space Station, and it will be berthed at the ISS. We will broadcast the berthing on our website, so don't miss it!

Mar. 21, 2012 Updated
KOUNOTORI3/H-IIB F3 launch schedule decided!

The launch date and time for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 3 (H-IIB F3) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI3" (HTV3), a cargo transporter to the International Space Station, has been set to be at around 11:18 a.m. on July 21 (Sat.), 2012 (Japan Standard Time.) The launch preparation operation for the KOUNOTORI is smoothly in progress at the Tanegashima Space Center. (Photo:H-IIB F3 revealed to the media on March 8)

Jan. 22, 2011 Updated
KOUNOTORI2/H-IIB F2 successfully launched

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 with the KOUNOTORI2 (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station, ISS) onboard was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center at 2:37:57 p.m. on January 22 (Sat., Japan Standard Time.) The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 15 minutes and 13 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the KOUNOTORI2 was confirmed.
The KOUNOTORI2 will fly to the ISS, then, on Jan. 28 (Fri., JST,) it is slated for berthing with the ISS.

Dec. 16, 2010 Updated
H-IIB F2 cryogenic test completed

On December 16, JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. conducted a cryogenic test of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 (H-IIB F2) at the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle and the ground system were connected for the test and all the launch operation procedures just prior to ignition were simulated in the same manner as on the launch day. As a result, no problem was found in functions and data of the launch vehicle and the ground system. We will thus move forward to be ready for launch.

Dec. 6, 2010 Updated
Cryogenic test date set for H-IIB F2

At the Tanegashima Space Center, JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are preparing for the launch of the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI2” (HTV2, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 (H-IIB F2) on January 20, 2011.
As part of the preparations, a cryogenic test will be held on December 16 (Thursday) 2010. The test is to confirm the functions of the launch vehicle and ground facilities by actually loading propellants onto the launch vehicle in the same manner as on the launch day.

Nov. 11, 2010 Updated
HTV nickname selected & special site open!

"KOUNOTORI" (meaning "a white stork" in English) was chosen as the nickname of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, a cargo transfer vehicle to the International Space Station.)
During a month-long nickname campaign, we received 17,236 suggestions.
Among them, "KOUNOTORI" was selected because a white stork carries an image of conveying an important thing (a baby, happiness, and other joyful things); therefore, it precisely expresses the mission to transport essential materials to the ISS.
The KOUNOTORI2 is scheduled to be launched by the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 (H-IIB F2) at around 3:29 p.m. (Japan Standard Time) on January 20 (Thu.), 2011.
Taking this opportunity of selecting the nickname, we would also like to open the "KOUNOTORI2/H-IIB F2 Special Site." We will provide you with updated information about the project including a column by project personnel and launch related matters. Please enjoy the site!
* Launch time will be determined by the updated orbit of the ISS.

Nov. 10, 2010 Updated
Launch day set for HTV2/H-IIB F2!

The launch date and time for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 (H-IIB F2) with the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) onboard was set for around 3:29 p.m. on January 20 (Thu.), 2011 (Japan Standard Time). The HTV2 is a cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS.) The integration of all modules of the HTV2 was completed at the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), and it will enter the final launch preparation phase. The H-IIB F2 has already been transported to the TNSC, and it is now being assembled there.
* Launch time will be determined by the updated orbit of the ISS.

Nov. 5, 2010 Updated
H-IIB F2 open to the press

On Nov. 4, the core vehicles of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 2 (H-IIB F2) were revealed to the media at the Nagoya Aerospace Systems Works Tobishima Plant of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, LTD.
The H-IIB F2 will be transported to the Tanegashima Space Center to launch the HTV2 (H-II Transfer Vehicle, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) in this winter launch period.

Apr. 7, 2010 Updated
Development of HTV/H-IIB received Japan industry technology/MEXT award

JAXA was selected as one of 12 organizations to receive the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology award at the 39th Japan industry technology awards for its development of the HTV and H-IIB launch vehicle.
The Japan industry technology awards are presented by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd. (Business and Technology Daily News, Japan) to encourage development of original and unique technology that contributes to the promotion of industry. The news company bestows the awards to development projects of distinctive large-scale technological systems.

Sep. 11, 2009 Updated
HTV/H-IIB Successfully Launched!!

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) Demonstration Flight aboard the H-IIB Launch Vehicle Test Flight (H-IIB TF1) at 2:01:46 a.m. on September 11, 2009 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 15 minutes and 6 seconds after liftoff, the separation of the HTV Demonstration Flight was confirmed.

The HTV will gradually approach the International Space Station (ISS) and berth at the ISS on the 18th (Friday, JST.)

Aug. 12, 2009 Updated
H-IIB payload fairing separation test

On Aug. 12, the scene of the separation and release test of the payload fairing for the H-IIB launch Vehicle was shown to the press at Harima Works of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. This fairing is a "5S-H" type newly developed for the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV). It's unique features are its height, which is 3 meters taller than the 5S type, one of the conventional fairing types for the H-IIA, and a large access door that was installed on the upper part of the fairing for operators to access the HTV after its encapsulation.
(Image: separation and release test on July 24)

Jul. 11, 2009 Updated
GTV test for H-IIB successfully held

The comprehensive ground test for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle using the Ground Test Vehicle (GTV) was held at the Tanegashima Space Center on July 11.
Although the GTV was not equipped with the fairing, the flight engine and four Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB-As) were attached. During the test, the exact same procedures as the real launch procedures were followed up until the engine ignition for the final confirmation of the vehicle, ground facilities and operation procedures.
(Photo: The H-IIB after it was moved to the launch pad)

Jul. 8, 2009 Updated
HTV/H-IIB launch date decided! Special site opened

The H-IIB Launch Vehicle Test Flight with the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV, a cargo transporter to the International Space Station) will be launched at 2:04 a.m. on September 11 (Fri.). (*)
The HTV has been fully assembled at the Tanegashima Space Center, and it will be under final launch preparations including comprehensive checkout and propellant loading to be ready for launch.
The ground comprehensive test for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle using the Ground Test Vehicle (the GTV test) is scheduled on the 11th.
Please check the updated information on the HTV and H-IIB at the "HTV/H-IIB Special Site." We hope you enjoy the site.
(*) Time will be determined by the updated orbit of the International Space Station (ISS.)

Apr. 22, 2009 Updated
Second CFT for the H-IIB first-stage flight model tank

On April 22 (Wed.), the second captive firing test (CFT) was held for the first-stage flight model tank of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle at Launch Pad 2 at the Yoshinobu Launch Complex, Tanegashima Space Center. The firing duration was only 10 seconds for the first CFT, but the second CFT was conducted for 150 seconds. This time, we verified the tank pressure characteristics and acquired environment data including vibration data on each part of the launch vehicle.

Apr. 2, 2009 Updated
CFT for the first stage flight model tank of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle was performed

On April 2 (Thu.) a captive firing test (CFT) for the first stage flight model tank of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle was held for the first time at Launch Pad 2 in Yoshinobu Launch Complex, Tanegashima Space Center.
The H-IIB is a new large-scale rocket whose launch capability has been improved compared to the H-IIA Launch Vehicle by installing two H-IIA first stage engines, or LE-7As, and by enlarging the first stage diameter from 4 meters to 5.2 meters. During the CFT, an engine firing test was carried out by using an actual flight tank at the launch pad where the first H-IIB will be launched to verify the launch vehicle and ground systems.

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