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The Mission

Rocket: H-2B
Payload: H-2 Transfer Vehicle
Date: September 10, 2009
Window: 1701 GMT (1:01 p.m. EDT)
Site: Launch Pad 2, Yoshinobu Launch Complex, Tanegashima, Japan

Mission Status Center

Preview story

Launch story

Tanegashima sunset

Launch events timeline

Ground track map

Rendezvous preview story

Station arrival story

Station departure story

HTV mission ends

HTV events timeline


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HTV Mission Timeline
Posted: August 30, 2009

NOTE: GMT is +4 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time. Times are subject to change.

Sept. 10 The Launch
1701 GMT - The H-2 Transfer Vehicle launches aboard the H-2B rocket from Tanegashima Island in southern Japan. The two-stage rocket will deploy the 36,000-pound spacecraft about 15 minutes after liftoff, which occurs at 2:01 a.m. Japanese time. The ship should be in an orbit with a high point of 186 miles, a low point of 124 miles, and an inclination of about 51.7 degrees.
Sept. 10 Establish Attitude Control
1827 GMT - The HTV establishes two-axis attitude control 56 minutes after launch and three-axis control 1 hour, 26 minutes into the mission.
Sept. 11 Phasing Maneuver
0033 GMT - The HTV fires its engines to change the ship's speed by about 7.7 meters per second, or 17 mph.
Sept. 11 Phasing Maneuver
0248 GMT - The HTV fires its engines to change the ship's speed by about 8.2 meters per second, or 18 mph.
Sept. 12 Demonstration Day
The HTV demonstrates three active and two passive "far field" abort sequences that would be used to fly the vehicle away from the International Space Station if a problem develops. NASA will evaluate the results of these tests before clearing the HTV to approach the complex during a mission management team meeting on the sixth day of the flight.
Sept. 15 Mission Management Team
The space station Mission Management Team, called the IMMT, meets to review the results of the HTV's performace so far in the mission. The IMMT will the "go" or "no go" for rendezvous.
Sept. 16 Height Adjustment Maneuver 1
0000 GMT - Another engine firing is performed by the HTV to raise the craft's orbit to nearly the altitude of the space station. This burn will change the ship's velocity by about 23.7 meters per second, or 53 mph. HAM 1 is the largest maneuver of the HTV's rendezvous sequence.
Sept. 17 Coelliptic Maneuvers
0132 GMT and 0223 GMT - The HTV's engines fire twice to put the ship on course for an orbit just below the International Space Station.
Sept. 17 Height Adjustment Maneuver 0
0922 GMT - The second height adjustment maneuver, called HAM 0, will raise the HTV's altitude again by changing the ship's velocity by 2.7 meters per second, or 6 mph. This burn puts the spacecraft in an orbit about 5 kilometers, or 3 miles, below the International Space Station.
Sept. 17 Establish Proximity Communications
The HTV establishes a proximity communications link with the space station when it passes within about 23 kilometers, or 14.3 miles, of the complex.
Sept. 17 Height Adjustment Maneuver 2
1226 GMT - Another major rendezvous maneuver will place the HTV about 5 kilometers, or 3 miles, behind the space station on the minus V-bar.
Sept. 17 Approach Initiation Point
1529 GMT - The HTV departs the approach initiation point about 5 kilometers, or 3.1 miles, behind the space station. This is the starting point for the final rendezvous and approach sequence. The HTV will fly to a rendezvous insertion point around 500 meters, or 1,640 feet, directly below the station along the minus R-bar.
Sept. 17 Rendezvous Insertion Point
1633 GMT - The HTV arrives at the rendezvous insertion point about 500 meters, or 1,640 feet, directly below the station along the minus R-bar. The ship will soon switch navigation sources from relative GPS to a rendezvous laser radar for the final approach.
Sept. 17 300 Meter Hold Point Arrival
1648 GMT - Arriving at a programmed hold point 300 meters, or about 984 feet, below the station, the HTV pauses to conduct a "yaw around" maneuver position the ship for potential contingency abort maneuvers.

After about 55 minutes of stationkeeping, the HTV resumes its approach to the station for a few minutes before a station astronaut commands the ship to hold and retreat to test the crew's ability to intervene in the event of a problem.

Sept. 17 300 Meter Hold Point Departure
1802 GMT - After completing a critical test to demonstrate the crew's ability to remote command the ship, the HTV leaves the hold point to continue its approach to the station.
Sept. 17 30 Meter Hold Point Arrival
1843 GMT - The HTV stops at a point 30 meters, or 98 feet, below the space station. This is the final hold point to check the spacecraft's alignment and systems before entering the capture box.
Sept. 17 30 Meter Hold Point Departure
1908 GMT - Flight controllers instruct the HTV to leave the 30 meter point and fly to a capture box about 9 meters, or 30 feet, below the space station's Kibo laboratory module.
Sept. 17 Capture Point
1929 GMT - The HTV reaches a capture box about 9 meters, or 30 feet, directly below the station.
Sept. 17 Capture
1950 GMT - The station's robot arm, operated by astronaut Nicole Stott, grapples the HTV as the craft floats about 9 meters, or 30 feet, below the complex's Kibo module.

Data Source: JAXA and NASA




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