A robotic Japanese cargo ship departed from the International Space Station on Wednesday (November 7th) for a weekend with concern to complete a successful mission.
The astronauts at the station released a ship to deliver HTV-7 from the station using a robotic arm, 11:51 AM EST (1651 GMT), when spacecraft sailed 254 miles above the North Pacific Ocean. At the end of September, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) released a cargo ship to the station to deliver more than 5 tonnes (4.5 tons) of fresh food, scientific tools and other supplies.
"The crew of Expedition 57 crew would like to thank the whole JAXA program and the engineering teams for the perfect design and implementation of the HTV-7 mission," Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency said after successful decommissioning Mission Control mission. The cargo ship, he added, is an important part of truly international efforts to support the only global station in space. Gerst used a robotic arm to release HTV-7 with the support of NASA's Serena Auñón-Chancellor astronaut. [Japan’s Huge HTV Space Truck Explained (Infographic)]
JAXA cargo ships HTV (short for H-2 portable vehicles) are single-use space vehicles designed to carry tons of delivery to a space station, and then, at the end of the mission, they exit and deliberately burn out in the earth's atmosphere. Spacecraft, also known as Kounotori (Japanese for "white stork"), are part of a fleet of robotic cargo ships from Japan, Russia, Europe and the United States, which in the past 18 years held a station that was stocked.
HTV-7 has provided some critical supplies for the crew of the International Space Station, including six new solar orbital solar cell batteries. They also had two tiny squares for the space lift experiment (which was set on October 6) and a small re-entry capsule that will try to return experiments to Earth in Japan for the first attempt to return to Japan. If everything goes well, the capsule will be placed just before HTV-7, which will fall on Saturday (November 10th) on Earth across the South Pacific.
The named HTV Small Return Capsule capsule is a cone shaped 2.7 m wide (0.8 m), 2.1 m high (0.6 m) and weighs 397 kilograms (180 kilograms).
"The return capsule will be removed from the gland after a burning rain," NASA reports. "The experimental capsule will carry a parachute parachute along the coast of Japan, where the JAXA ship will stand for recovery."
NASA officials said the capsule transmitted the results of protein crystal growth experiments.
Gerst wanted the luck team to re-enter their future technological test. That was him and his 57 expeditions, who packed the capsule with their experimental load and attached it to the HTV-7 flap.
"We congratulate all participating engineers for the successful design and installation of small return capsules, and we want all the best for the upcoming, most interesting phase of the last capsule mission: re-entry and descent".