Image above: The Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) is attached to the Harmony module by the station’s robotic arm Credit: NASA TV
Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli used the station’s robotic arm to attach the unpiloted Japanese Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV2) to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 9:51 a.m. EST Thursday.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched HTV2 aboard an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 12:37 a.m. (2:27 p.m. Japan time) on Saturday.
HTV2 is the second unpiloted cargo ship launched by JAXA to the station and will deliver more than four tons of food and supplies to the station and its crew members.
In the coming days, a pallet loaded with spare station parts will be extracted from a slot in the cargo ship and attached to an experiment platform outside the Japanese Kibo module. Other cargo will be transferred internally to the station.
The cargo vehicle will be filled with trash, detached from the station and sent to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere at the end of March.