The H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), launched by the H-IIB Test Flight Launch Vehicle on September 10, 2009 from the Tanegashima Space Center, was successfully berthed at the International Space Station (ISS) at at 6:26 p.m. EDT on September 18. The ingress is scheduled for 6:30-6:40 p.m. today, a day later.
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) posted that the crew will transfer the cargo shipped in the Pressurized Carrier of the HTV to ISS. "Cargo in the unpressurized carrier will be lifted out by the ISS and Kibo robotic arms to be installed onto the Kibo's Exposed Facility. " (Kibo refers to the Japanese Experiment Module.) The HTV is carrying about five tons of supplies to the station. According to NASA, after the activation of the HTV subsystems, Thirsk and De Winne will "perform vestibule outfitting procedures to prepare it for ingress and unloading."
Un-manned Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) being attached via the robotic arm to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony node.
Keiji Tachikawa, President of JAXA, summarized the status today: "With the successful berthing at the ISS, the HTV mission overcame the most critical point of the mission. However, the important operations of cargo transfer, departure from the ISS, and re-entry to the atmosphere still remain. We will do our utmost to successfully complete all the tasks of the mission."
The HTV thus means another unmanned resupply spacecraft for the ISS.