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Japan's HTV2 spaceship completes ISS supply mission

Kounotori2 released from the ISS module. A JAXA photo

TOKYO (BNS): Japanese space capsule, the H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2), has re-entered Earth’s atmosphere after completing a supply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

The spacecraft, also called Kounotori2, performed three de-orbit maneouvers for reentry into Earth’s atmosphere Wednesday.

The third and final de-orbit maneouver was completed at 11:44 am Japanese Standard Time, Japanese space agency JAXA said.

After de-orbiting, the space freighter lowered its altitude and reached an altitude of 120 km. It entered Earth’s atmosphere at 0:09 p.m. Thursday, over the East Coast of New Zealand and splashed down in the Southern Pacific Ocean.

Earlier on Monday, Kounotori2 had undocked from the Harmony (Node 2) module of the ISS.

The unmanned cargo transfer vehicle was launched by Japan’s H-2B rocket on January 22, 2011.

The 33 feet-long, 14 feet wide golden colour cylinder-shaped Kounotori2 carried six tons of supplies, including food, clothes and other scientific equipment to the ISS and returned with spent equipment, used clothing, and other waste material from the orbital laboratory.

This was the second mission for Japan’s Kounotori spaceship after its maiden ISS mission in September 2009.



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