Kounotori 5


Kounotori 5
ISS-44 Purple Aurora australis.jpg
A view of the docked Kounotori 5 spacecraft from the Cupola, with Aurora Australis in the background.
Mission typeISS resupply
COSPAR ID2015-038A
SATCAT no.40873
Mission duration41 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeH-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)
ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries
Launch mass16557 kg
Dry mass10500 kg
Start of mission
Launch date19 August 2015, 11:50:49 UTC
RocketH-IIB No. 5
Launch siteTanegashima, Yoshinobu-2
ContractorMitsubishi Heavy Industries
End of mission
Decay date29 September 2015,
20:33 UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit [1]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Berthing at ISS
Berthing portHarmony
RMS capture24 August 2015, 10:28 UTC
Berthing date24 August 2015, 17:28 UTC
Unberthing date28 September 2015,
11:12 UTC
RMS release28 September 2015,
16:53 UTC
Time berthed34 days, 23 hours, 25 minutes
Mass6057 kg
Pressurised4557 kg
Unpressurised1500 kg

Kounotori 5, also known as HTV-5, is the fifth flight of the H-II Transfer Vehicle, an uncrewed cargo spacecraft launched to resupply the International Space Station. It was launched on 19 August 2015.


Major changes of Kounotori 5 from previous Kounotori are:[2]

  • Solar panels were reduced to 49 panels, down from 57 on HTV-1 and Kounotori 2, 56 on Kounotori 3, and 55 on Kounotori 4, since the analysis of the data from previous missions showed that fewer panels were sufficient.[3] A sensor-mount outlet was added since Kounotori 4 at a place previously occupied by a solar panel, and on Kounotori 5 it is used to attach environment measurement equipment (Kounotori Advanced Space Environment Research equipment (KASPER)).[4][5]
  • Improvement in the loading of Cargo Transfer Bags allows for increased capacity (maximum 242 CTBs compared to previous 230), and more late access cargo (maximum 92 CTBs compared to previous 80).[2]

When approaching the ISS, previous missions were held at the Approach Initiation (AI) point at 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) behind the ISS for system checkout, but Kounotori 5 was changed to continue the approach without holding, to simplify the operation.[2]


Kounotori 5 was originally planned to carry about 6,000 kilograms (13,000 lb) of cargo, consisting of 5,500 kilograms (12,100 lb) in the pressurised compartment and 1000 kg in the unpressurised compartment.[2] Due primarily to the launch failure of SpaceX CRS-7, an additional 200 kilograms (440 lb) were added as the late access cargo. Total cargo weight was 6,057 kilograms (13,353 lb).[6]

Pressurised cargo includes:[2][7] potable water (600 litres (130 imp gal; 160 US gal)), food, crew commodities, system components, and science experiment equipments. System components includes: UPA Fluids Control and Pump Assembly (FCPA), WPA Multifiltration Beds (WFB), a galley rack to be placed in Unity, and a Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue (SAFER) pack. Science experiment equipments include Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU), Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF), Multi-purpose Small Payload Rack (MSPR-2), Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism (ExHAM-2), NanoRacks External Platform (NREP), and CubeSats (SERPENS [pt], S-CUBE, fourteen Flock-2b,[8] AAUSAT5, and GOMX-3).

Unpressurised cargo consists of the Calorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET).[2] Plans for a NASA unpressurised module were canceled.[9]

Upon departure from ISS, the unpressurised cargo bay will carry the Multi-mission Consolidated Equipment (MCE) package, the Superconducting Submillimeter-wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES), and a NASA experiment module, Space Test Program Houston 4 (STP-H4), until its destructive reentry in the Atmosphere of Earth.[2]


Launch and rendezvous with the ISS

Kounotori 5 was originally planned for launch in 2014 but was later postponed due to delays in the construction and qualification testing[citation needed] of the payload to fly on the capsule.[10]

In June 2015, it was scheduled to be launched at around 13:01 UTC on 16 August 2015.[11] Due to the bad weather forecast, on 14 August 2015 the launch was postponed to 17 August 2015,[12] and then on 16 August it was postponed again to 19 August 2015.[13]

Kounotori 5 was successfully launched with a H-IIB No. 5 (H-IIB F5) Launch vehicle flying from pad 2 of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima Space Center at 11:50:49 UTC on 19 August 2015.[14] Communication and three-axis attitude controls were established shortly after the launch.[15] Phase Manoeuvre was performed by 19:25 UTC on 20 August 2015,[16] and the first Height Adjustment Manoeuvre by 17:55 UTC on 22 August 2015.[17] The second and third Height Adjustment Manoeuvre were performed by 03:07 and 06:12 UTC on 24 August 2015, respectively.[18][19]

The ISS's robotic arm SSRMS grappled Kounotori 5 at 10:29 UTC on 24 August 2015, and fastened it to the ISS's Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) at 14:58 UTC on 24 August 2015. All berthing operations were completed at 17:28 UTC on 24 August 2015.[20]

Operation while berthed to ISS

From 02:27 UTC on 25 August 2015, the Exposed Pallet (EP), which is carrying CALET, was extracted from Kounotori 5's Unpressurised Logistics Carrier (ULC) by the ground-controlled SSRMS, and handed off to the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS), which is also remote-controlled from ground. The JEMRMS then attached the palette to the JEM Exposed Facility (EF).[21][22] Later, at 14:29 UTC on the same day, CALET was removed from the pallet and installed to the Exposed Facility by the JEMRMS.[23]

The ISS crew opened the hatch of the Kounotori's Common Berthing Mechanism and entered to Pressurized Logistics Carrier at 10:24 UTC on 25 August 2015,[21] and began transferring the cargo.

Departure from ISS and reentry into the Earth's atmosphere

Kounotori 5 was unberthed from the CBM at 11:12 UTC, 28 September 2015 by SSRMS robotic arm and moved to the release position. The first attempt of the release at 15:20 UTC was aborted due to an anomaly of the SSRMS.[24] After one ISS orbit, Kounotori 5 was released from the SSRMS at 16:53 UTC, 28 September 2015, Expedition 45 Flight Engineer Kimiya Yui of JAXA, backed up by NASA Flight Engineer Kjell N. Lindgren, commanded the SSRMS.

After the orbit control manoeuvre, Kounotori 5 reentered Earth's atmosphere over the southern Pacific Ocean around 20:33 UTC, on 29 September 2015.[25]


  1. ^ "HTV-5 Satellite details 2015-038A NORAD 40873". N2YO. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g 宇宙ステーション補給機「こうのとり」5号機(HTV5)ミッションプレスキット (PDF) (in Japanese). JAXA. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  3. ^ Kawasaki, Osamu; Tsujita, Daisuke; Ichikawa, Chiaki (March 2013). HTV電力系の軌道上運用による設計評価と高度化検討 [Evaluation of HTV Electrical Power System and Design Improvement by On-orbit Operation compared with Simulation]. 32nd ISAS Space Energy Symposium (in Japanese). ISAS/JAXA. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  4. ^ No.1865 :「こうのとり」5号機の機体公開. Space Authors Club (in Japanese). 1 July 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Demonstration Experiment of Space Debris Sensor on HTV-5" (PDF). Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  6. ^ 「こうのとり」(HTV)5号機の搭載物変更について (PDF) (in Japanese). JAXA. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  7. ^ Dunn, Andrea (15 August 2015). "Stork Set to Make Special Space Station Delivery". nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved 15 August 2015. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ Holm, Rachel (13 August 2015). "Kounotori "White Stork" to Carry 14 Doves to ISS". Planet Pulse. Planet Labs. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  9. ^ 宇宙ステーション補給機「こうのとり」5号機(HTV5)の接近・係留・離脱フェーズに係る安全検証結果について (PDF) (in Japanese). JAXA. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  10. ^ 無人輸送機「こうのとり」打ち上げ先送り 積み荷準備遅れ (in Japanese). Nikkei. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Launch of the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) aboard the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5". JAXA. 9 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Launch Postponement of H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5 with H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) Onboard". JAXA. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Launch Postponement of H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5 with H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) Onboard". JAXA. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Launch Success of H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5) by H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 5". JAXA. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  15. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Establishes Three-Axis Attitude". JAXA. 19 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  16. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Completes the First Phase Manoeuvre". JAXA. 20 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  17. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Completes the First Height Adjustment Manoeuvre". JAXA. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  18. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Completes the Second Height Adjustment Maneuver". JAXA. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  19. ^ "KOUNOTORI5 Completes the Third Height Adjustment Manoeuvre". JAXA. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  20. ^ "ISS Crew Concludes KOUNOTORI5 Berthing Operations". JAXA. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  21. ^ a b "Transfer of the Exposed Pallet (EP) was completed. Crew entered KOUNOTORI5". JAXA. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  22. ^ "ISS Daily Summary Report – 08/25/15". ISS On-Orbit Status Report. NASA. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  23. ^ "CALET installation completed". JAXA. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  24. ^ "ISS Daily Summary Report – 09/28/15". NASA. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  25. ^ "Successful re-entry of H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI5" (HTV5)". JAXA. 30 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.

External links

  • HTV5 (Kounotori 5) Official page (JAXA)
  • H-II Transfer Vehicle KOUNOTORI (HTV) (JAXA)
  • HTV-5 Mission Updates, Spaceflight101.com