Press Release

  This press release is issued by NASDA.


Completion of Operation for
Engineering Test Satellite VII (ETS-VII),"Orihime/Hikoboshi"

October 31, 2002 (JST)

National Space Development Agency of Japan

The Engineering Test Satellite VII (ETS-VII) "Orihime/Hikoboshi" that the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) launched on 28 November 1997 achieved its planned missions of the robotic experiments and the rendezvous docking experiment, and completed its experimental operation in December 1999.

Since then, some operation had been continued to monitor a long-term degradation trend after exceeding its designed life of 1.5 years. But, it was confirmed that the attitude control device had stopped its function on 19 June 2002.

NASDA tried to restore the normal attitude and found it difficult to continue such operation. NASDA, therefore, completed the operation of ETS-VII by commanding a terminating signal to the satellite on 30 October 2002 at 15:56 (Japan Standard Time).

It was demonstrated that an automatic rendezvous docking was possible among satellites and remotely controlled works using on-board robot arms from the ground. The experiment results will be utilized for developing the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) to transport necessary supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) and the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS).

* For further information on the experiment results of ETS-VII, please see the following website: