Kounotori 5

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Kounotori 5
ISS-44 Purple Aurora australis.jpg
View of the docked Kounotori 5 spacecraft from the Cupola, with Aurora Australis in the background.
Mission type ISS resupply
Operator JAXA
COSPAR ID 2015-038A
SATCAT no. 40873
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type HTV
Manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Start of mission
Launch date 19 August 2015, 11:50:49 (2015-08-19UTC11:50:49Z) UTC
Rocket H-IIB
Launch site Tanegashima Y2
Contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
End of mission
Disposal Deorbited
Decay date 29 September 2015, 20:33 UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 400 kilometres (250 mi)[1]
Apogee 402 kilometres (250 mi)[1]
Inclination 51.65 degrees[1]
Period 92.58 minutes[1]
Epoch 24 August 2015, 11:32:20 UTC[1]
Berthing at ISS
Berthing port Harmony nadir
RMS capture 24 August 2015, 10:28 UTC
Berthing date 24 August 2015, 17:28 UTC[2]
Unberthing date 28 September 2015, 11:12 UTC
RMS release 28 September 2015, 16:53 UTC
Time berthed 34 days, 23 hours, 25 minutes

Kounotori 5, also known as HTV-5, is the fifth flight of the H-II Transfer Vehicle, an uncrewed cargo spacecraft launched to resupply the International Space Station. It was launched on August 19, 2015.


Major changes of Kounotori 5 from previous Kounotori are:[3]

  • Solar panels were reduced to 49 panels, down from HTV-1 and Kounotori 2's 57, Kounotori 3's 56, and Kounotori 4's 55, since the analysis of the data from previous missions showed that fewer panels were sufficient.[4] A sensor-mount outlet was added since Kounotori 4 at a place where previously occupied by a solar panel, and on Kounotori 5 it is used to attach an environment measurement equipment (Kounotori Advanced Space Environment Research equipment (KASPER))[5][6]
  • Improvement of loading the Cargo Transfer Bag allows the increased capacity (maximum 242 CTBs compared to previous 230), and more late access cargo (max 92 CTBs compared to previous 80).[3]

When approaching to ISS, previous missions were held at Approach Initiation (AI) point at 5 km behind the ISS for system checkout, but Kounotori 5 was changed to continue the approach without holding, to simplify the operation.[3]


Kounotori 5 was planned to carry about 5.5 tonnes cargo, consisting of 4.5 t in the pressurised compartment and 1 t in the unpressurised compartment.[3][7] Due primarily to the launch failure of SpaceX CRS-7, additional 0.2 tonnes were added as the late access cargo. Total cargo weight was 6,057 kg.[8]

Pressurised cargo include[3][9] potable water (600 liter), food, crew commodities, system components, and science experiment equipments. System components include: UPA Fluids Control and Pump Assembly (FCPA), WPA Multifiltration Beds (WFB), a galley rack to be placed in Unity, and Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER). Science experiment equipments include Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU), Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF), Multi-Purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR-2), Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM 2), NanoRacks External Platform (NREP), and CubeSats (SERPENS (pt), S-CUBE, fourteen Flock-2b,[10] AAUSAT5, and GOMX-3).

Unpressurised cargo consists of the Calorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET).[3]

Originally a NASA unpressurised cargo was planned, but it was canceled.[11]

On departure from ISS, unpressured cargo bay will carry Multi-mission Consolidated Equipment (MCE), Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES), and a NASA experiment module Space Test Program Houston 4 (STP-H4), to dispose by destructive reentry to Earth atmosphere.[3]


Launch and rendezvous with the ISS[edit]

It was originally planned for launch in 2014 but was later postponed due to delay in the construction and qualification testing[citation needed] of payload to fly on the capsule.[12]

In June 2015, it was scheduled to be launched at around 13:01 UTC on August 16, 2015.[13]

Due to the bad weather forecast, on August 14 the launch was postponed to August 17,[14] and then on August 16 it was postponed again to August 19.[15]

Kounotori 5 was successfully launched with a H-IIB carrier rocket flying from pad 2 of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima at 11:50:49 UTC on 19 August 2015.[16] Communication and three-axis attitude controls were established shortly after the launch.[17] Phase Maneuver was performed by 19:25 UTC on August 20,[18] and the first Height Adjustment Maneuver by 17:55 UTC on August 22.[19] The second and third Height Adjustment Maneuver were performed by 03:07 and 06:12 UTC on August 24, respectively.[20][21]

The ISS's robotic arm SSRMS grappled Kounotori 5 at 10:29 UTC on 24 Aug 2015, and fastened to ISS's CBM at 14:58 UTC on 24 Aug 2015. All berthing operations were completed at 17:28 UTC on 24 Aug 2015.[2]

Operation while berthed to ISS[edit]

From 02:27 UTC on August 25, the Exposed Pallet (EP), which is carrying CALET, was extracted from Kounotori 5's Unpressurized Logistics Carrier (ULC) by the ground-controlled SSRMS, and handed off to the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), which is also remote-controlled from ground. The JEMRMS then attached the palette to the JEM Exposed Facility (EF).[22][23] Later, at 14:29 UTC on the same day, CALET was removed from the palette and installed to the Exposed Facility by the JEMRMS.[24]

The ISS crew opened the hatch of the Kounotori's Common Berthing Mechanism and entered to Pressurized Logistics Carrier at 10:24 UTC on 25 Aug 2015[22] and began transferring the cargo.

Departure from ISS and reentry to earth atmosphere[edit]

Kounotori 5 was unberthed from the CBM at 11:12, 28 September 2015 UTC by SSRMS robotic arm and moved to the release position. The first attempt of the release at 15:20 UTC was aborted due to an anomaly of the SSRMS.[25] After one ISS orbit, Kounotori 5 was released from the SSRMS at 16:53, 28 September 2015 UTC, Expedition 45 Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui of JAXA, backed up by NASA Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren, commanded the SSRMS.

After the orbit control maneuvers, Kounotori 5 reentered to the Earth atmosphere over the southern Pacific Ocean around 20:33, 29 September 2015 UTC.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d e "HTV-5 Satellite details 2015-038A NORAD 40873". N2YO. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "ISS Crew Concludes KOUNOTORI5 Berthing Operations". JAXA. August 25, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g 宇宙ステーション補給機「こうのとり」5号機(HTV5)ミッションプレスキット (PDF) (in Japanese). JAXA. August 21, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ Kawasaki, Osamu; Tsujita, Daisuke; Ichikawa, Chiaki (March 2013). HTV電力系の軌道上運用による設計評価と高度化検討 [Evaluation of HTV Electrical Power System and Design Improvement by On-orbit Operation compared with Simulation]. 32nd ISAS Space Energy Symposium (in Japanese). ISAS/JAXA. Retrieved August 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ No.1865 :「こうのとり」5号機の機体公開. Space Authors Club (in Japanese). July 1, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Demonstration Experiment of Space Debris Sensor on HTV-5" (PDF). Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ Wall, Mike (August 18, 2015). "Japanese Supply Ship to Launch Toward Space Station: How to Watch Live". space.com. 
  8. ^ JAXA (July 31, 2015). 「こうのとり」(HTV)5号機の搭載物変更について (PDF) (in Japanese). Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  9. ^ Dunn, Andrea (August 15, 2015). "Stork Set to Make Special Space Station Delivery". www.nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ Holm, Rachel (August 13, 2015). "Kounotori "White Stork" to Carry 14 Doves to ISS". Planet Pulse. Planet Labs. Retrieved August 16, 2015. 
  11. ^ 宇宙ステーション補給機「こうのとり」5号機(HTV5)の接近・係留・離脱フェーズに係る安全検証結果について (PDF) (in Japanese). JAXA. June 9, 2015. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  12. ^ 無人輸送機「こうのとり」打ち上げ先送り 積み荷準備遅れ (in Japanese). Nikkei. August 5, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Launch of the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) aboard the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5". JAXA. June 9, 2015. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Launch Postponement of H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5 with H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) Onboard". JAXA. August 14, 2015. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Launch Postponement of H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5 with H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) Onboard". JAXA. August 16, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Launch Success of H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) by H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5". JAXA. August 19, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015. 
  17. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Establishes Three-Axis Attitude". JAXA. August 19, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  18. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Completes the First Phase Maneuver". JAXA. August 20, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  19. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Completes the First Height Adjustment Maneuver". JAXA. August 24, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  20. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Completes the Second Height Adjustment Maneuver". JAXA. August 24, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  21. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Completes the Third Height Adjustment Maneuver". JAXA. August 24, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  22. ^ a b "Transfer of the Exposed Pallet (EP) was Completed. Crew entered KOUNOTORI5". JAXA. August 25, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  23. ^ "ISS Daily Summary Report – 08/25/15". ISS On-Orbit Status Report. NASA. August 25, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  24. ^ "CALET installation completed". JAXA. August 26, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2015. 
  25. ^ "ISS Daily Summary Report – 09/28/15". NASA. September 28, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  26. ^ "Successful re-entry of H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5)". JAXA. September 30, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015. 

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