August 8, 2020: Today marks the retirement of the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV). Between 2009 to 2020, HTV successfully completed 9 resupply missions to the International Space Station. The vehicle, also known as Kounotori or ‘the white stork’ after the colloquial bird that delivers newborns infants, delivered vital supplies to keep the ISS stocked and ready to perform scientific experiments. The H-II spacecraft was the Japanese Space Agency’s (JAXA) first cargo spacecraft, and will be replaced by the HTV-X. Compared to its predecessor, HTV-X offers a lighter overall weight, and increased cargo space including external unpressurized capacity. As part of NASA’s Rendezvous, Proximity Operations, and Capture (RPOC) team, Odyssey helped ensure the capture and release of the H-II vehicle went smoothly and looks forward to welcoming the next generation of JAXA’s cargo vehicles.
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