July 02 – September 14, 2012: The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched their third H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-3) on July 21, 2012 at 02:05 GMT. After successfully completing phasing, the HTV-3 was given the “GO” to fly under automatic control to its designated capture point beneath Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) of the International Space Station (ISS). After arriving safely, the HTV-3, called Kounotori-3, was captured using the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS). Capture occurred on July 27, 2012 at 00:23 GMT. Berthing to the nadir Node-2 Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) was completed shortly after capture, where HTV-3 remained for nearly two months. After a successful attached operations phase, HTV-3 was unberthed and later released using the SSRMS on September 12, 2012 at 15:50 GMT, at which time it departed the vicinity of ISS. HTV-3 re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on September 14, 2012 at 05:27 GMT, completing a successful mission.
Congratulations to the entire JAXA, CSA and NASA team! For more information about the HTV or the HTV-3 mission, please visit its website at: http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/htv/mission/htv-3/