JAXA the Japanese Space Agency is going to launch its H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)-6 at 8:26 a.m. EST / 13:26 UTC.
About the mission: Loaded with more than 4.5 tons of supplies, water, spare parts and experiment hardware for the six-person station crew, the unpiloted cargo spacecraft, named “Kounotori” – the Japanese word for white stork – will set sail on a four-day flight to the station. Also aboard the resupply vehicle are six new lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates that will replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used on the station to store electrical energy generated by the station’s solar arrays. These will be installed during a series of spacewalks currently scheduled in January.
On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the HTV-6 will approach the station from below, and slowly inch its way toward the complex. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will operate the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm from the station’s cupola to reach out and grapple the 12-ton spacecraft and install it on the Earth-facing side of the Harmony module, where it will spend more than five weeks. Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA will monitor HTV-6 systems during the rendezvous and grapple.
The launch of Progress 65 a resupply mission to the ISS was beautiful. Things went awry about the time for the third stage. Communications with the spacecraft was lost at 383 seconds into the flight – Don’t worry this was an autonomous flight, no people were aboard the spacecraft and the International Space Station has plenty of supplies.
ROSCOSMOS — “According to preliminary information, the contingency took place at an altitude of about 190 km over remote and unpopulated mountainous area of the Republic of Tyva. The most of cargo spacecraft fragments burned in the dense atmosphere. ” – link.
Coverage of the Soyuz launch to the ISS with Astronauts Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Peggy Whitson of NASA heading to the International Space Station.
I hope to have a link up and running by 19:30 UTC.
Another great image from NASA/Bill Ingalls
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will launch Thursday, Nov. 17, for a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station.
Prelaunch activities will air through Nov. 16, and live launch coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. EST Nov. 17, on NASA Television and the agency’s website. The crew of Expedition 50/51 will launch at 3:20 p.m. (2:20 a.m. Nov. 18, Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
After launching, the crew members will travel for two days before docking to the space station’s Rassvet module at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin at 4:15 p.m. Hatches between the Soyuz and station will open at approximately 7:35 p.m., and the arriving crew will be welcomed by Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, who have been aboard the complex since October. NASA TV coverage of hatch opening and welcoming ceremonies will begin at 6:45 p.m.
During their stay aboard the orbital complex, Whitson will become the first woman to command the space station twice. Her first tenure as commander was in 2007, when she became the first woman to hold this post. Whitson has an advanced degree in biochemistry, and prior to her selection as an astronaut candidate in 1996, she served in prominent medical science research and supervisory positions at NASA.
The soon-to-be six crew members of Expedition 50 will contribute to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity’s only microgravity laboratory. The crew is scheduled to return to Earth next spring.
The DigitalGlobe WorldView-4 satellite was launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Friday, 11 November from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. There were also seven CubeSats oboard have a look at the United Launch Alliance Mission Overview page.
Launching from: Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad OA at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia
People living in the US somewhere near the mid-Atlantic area can see Antares on the way up. The maps below from NASA show the angle of elevation too look and about how long after lift off it will take to be visible. Credit: Orbital ATK via NASA