JAXA Launches HTV-7 Supply Ship to International Space Station

JAXA’s HTV attached to ISS. (Credit: NASA)

TANEGASHIMA SPACE CENTER, Japan (JAXA PR) — At 2:52:27 a.m., September 23, 2018, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 7 (H-IIB F7) which carries aboard the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI7” (HTV7), the cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS), from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center.

H-IIB F7 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 14 minutes 59 seconds after launch, as planned, the payload separated from the launch vehicle.

KOUNOTORI7 successfully established three-axis attitude at 03:50 a.m., September 23. KOUNOTORI’s system self-checks are ongoing in preparation for its first phase adjusting maneuver (Phase Maneuver1: PM1).

Major payload to be delivered on board HTV7 is as follows.

Cargo in the Pressurized Logistics Carrier (PLC)

  • HTV Small Re-entry Capsule: HSRC
  • Utilization/experiment-related items
    • Racks
      • Express Rack 9B
      • Express Rack 10B
      • Life Support Rack: LSR (ESA Payload)
      • Life Sciences Glovebox (LSG) and LSG Launch support rack
    • Cargo for the onboard crew
      • Fresh Food
      • Crew Provisioning Items

Cargo in the Unpressurized Logistics Carrier (ULC)

      • ISS Li-ion battery orbital Replacement Units (ORUs)

MHI and JAXA express sincere appreciation for the support by all.

  • Jeff2Space

    That “HTV Small Re-entry Capsule: HSRC” will be interesting. Hopefully it works out for them.

  • Jeff Smith

    I’m always excited to see this birds go up. I certain want them to be successful, but I’m also looking forward to their future developments. HTV will become HTV-X, and H-IIB will become H3 – both of which will be quite capable systems and will fly for decades to come.

    Exciting times to be around!

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Look at the line of cargo ships used to support human spaceflight.


    Near future …

    Dragon 2.
    Orion(?) It’s expensive, but capable.

    For a 50 year period, that’s not a bad list. Historians looking back at human spaceflight might argue that the real action in early human spaceflight was in the resupply/logistics front.

  • Zed_WEASEL

    Ahem. The Apollo, Soyuz, Starliner and Orion are not cargo vehicles. They are crewed vehicles that can take some limited cargo.

    You forgot to add the Shenzhou and the Tianzhou to the list.

    If it fly while the ISS is till in service, can also add the BFS to the near future list.

  • Zed_WEASEL

    Predict both the H3 and the HTV-X will have less that a decade of service before retirement. Hopefully be replaced with something more affordable in the case of the H3 and something more capable with the HTV-X.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I did forget the Chinese. Then again, they seem to have forgotten about human spaceflight too. So … I forgive myself. As for BFR to the iSS … Yes, I did not consider that as I think it’s much further away than other people here. Let’s hope I’m wrong on that one, but I think the SS Art Project is some time off.

  • Michael Halpern

    Fair besides even with a pressurized uncrewed launch it would probably be considered a temporary major station component more than a cargo ship, if the Station is ISS, there wouldn’t be enough room on the station to take everything out of the ship

  • Zed_WEASEL

    Doesn’t matter. As long as SpaceX charges the same freight rate as the Cargo Dragon 2. It is also the only way to get some of the ISPR racks and their contents back to Earth. The BFS also allows the entire inventory of EVA suits to be exchange for new or refitted suits that have been serviced back on Earth on a regular basis.

    Does have to admit it is amusing that the BFS actually have more pressurized volume than the ISS. Maybe they can used a BFS as temporary accommodation and laboratory spaces for a much bigger ISS crew for several months.

    Of course presuming the BFS fly well before the ISS retired.

  • Michael Halpern

    Considering that they are building it now, it should be orbital by 2024, but another thing to consider is the modules bfr could deliver, you could have a need for a larger airlock

  • Robert G. Oler

    in its fantasy configuration yes that is correct

  • Robert G. Oler

    “building it now” LOL they might might maybe are building a mockup…flight hardware LOL

  • Michael Halpern

    The hopper is flight hardware not orbital but SpaceX doesn’t do half measures and wouldn’t waste money on a mock-up

  • Robert G. Oler

    if they dont build a mockup they are silly …its cheap but essential…as for hopper…LOL the orbital part of it has to reenter to prove anything

  • duheagle

    There will probably be an internals-only mockup of the crew areas of the BFS built at a point when these are better-defined – maybe a year or so hence – but there’s no need to mock up the freighter and tanker versions in any way. SpaceX didn’t build an all-up test stand for Falcon Heavy; it did extensive computational simulation, an extended static test fire of the flight test vehicle on the actual launch pad, then launched the test vehicle. SpaceX’s approach has always been to rely on actual flight – rather than elaborate and expensive ground tests – to prove out its designs. BFR will be no different.

  • duheagle

    The hop tests will probably be done with a vehicle that is orbit-capable in every respect except engine complement. I expect the initial hop tests might be done with a single engine, but three is more likely. the same vehicle, with a full complement of engines, will likely be used for initial orbital tests.

  • Michael Halpern

    No because computer modeling is effective besides for modeling you wouldn’t build full scale with a 9m diameter main body, they need to prove out the aerodynamics and control interface, which is what BFS hopper is for.