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Successful re-entry of H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI8" (HTV8)

November 3, 2019 (JST)

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

The H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI8" (HTV8) successfully re-entered the atmosphere after the third de-orbit maneuver at 10:41 a.m. on November 3, 2019 (Japanese Standard Time, JST).

The "KOUNOTORI8" has successfully accomplished its main objective to ship cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

The estimated date/time of "KOUNOTORI8" re-entry and splashdown are as follows (Japanese Standard Time, JST):
Estimated re-entry*1: November 3, 2019 / 11:09 a.m.
Estimated splashdown: November 3, 2019 / 11:20 a.m.~11:52 a.m.
*1: Altitude at 120 km

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

Message from JAXA President
Completed mission of the "KOUNOTORI8" ("HTV8")

Today, on November 3, 2019, the H-II transfer vehicle "KOUNOTORI8" ("HTV8") left the orbit and reentered the atmosphere as scheduled.
After successfully docking to the International Space Station (ISS) on September 29, 2019, "KOUNOTORI8" had stayed aboard the ISS for approximately 34 days. While docked, resupply items and utilization cargo which are inevitable for ISS operations were transferred to the ISS, and after being loaded with trash material, the "KOUNOTORI8" had successfully re-entered the Earth atmosphere today. This marked the eighth consecutive mission success.

Following the preceding two "KOUNOTORI" (HTV6 and HTV7), the HTV8 transported without fail to the ISS the cargoes which were indispensable for operations of the ISS, including new batteries based on Japan-made lithium-ion batteries and which only the vehicle "KOUNOTORI" was capable of carrying. The HTV8 also delivered several experiment devices such as SOLISS (Small Optical Link for International Space Station), Hourglass (Dependence Research of Flexible Surface on a Planet) and JSSOD#12 (JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer) for use in experiments on the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo." The initial checkout has been completed for SOLISS.

The star tracker, newly introduced in the "KOUNOTORI8"’s mission, enabled it to constantly perform its attitude control in a perfect manner. The newly developed resupply rack greatly increased the payload loading capacity. These achievements demonstrated the effectiveness of the new technologies adopted before the new ISS transfer vehicle "HTV-X" currently being developed is commissioned.

"KOUNOTORI 9" ("HTV9"), transfer vehicle scheduled for the next fiscal year is the final mission for current "KOUNOTORI". We will aim for a successfully complete "KOUNOTORI9"'s mission with the technologies we have accumulated and enhanced, and make efforts to steadily transfer the technologies to the successor HTV-X.

I would like to express my thankfulness to many people from domestic and international organizations and agencies and many individuals who provided us precious support and assistance.

November 3, 2019
Hiroshi Yamakawa,
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)