Eleven years after the launch of the first H-II Transfer cargo vehicle (HTV) to the International Space Station, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) HTV-9 will depart the orbital laboratory Tuesday, Aug. 18.
This will be the final station departure of JAXA’s Kounotori, or “white stork,” model cargo craft, nine of which have delivered more than 40 tons of supplies to space station crews. JAXA is developing a new fleet of HTV cargo craft, the HTV-X, which is targeted for its first launch in 2022.
In this image, the versatile Canadarm2 robotic arm is poised to grapple and remove the HTV-9 resupply craft from the Harmony module. Station Commander and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy will command the Canadarm2 to release the HTV-9. The HTV-9 arrived at the station on May 25, 2020, delivering four tons of new science experiments, station hardware, crew supplies and fuel.
Image Credit: NASA