Kounotori 6

Kounotori 6
Mission type ISS resupply
Operator JAXA
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type HTV
Start of mission
Launch date December 9th 2016 [1]
Rocket H-IIB 304
Launch site Tanegashima Y2
Contractor Mitsubishi
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Inclination 51.6 degrees
Epoch Planned
Berthing at ISS
Berthing port Harmony nadir
Mass 5.9 t
Pressurised 3.9 t
Unpressurised 1.9 t
 Kounotori 5 Kounotori 7

Kounotori 6 (こうのとり6号機), also known as HTV-6, will be the sixth flight of the H-II Transfer Vehicle, an unmanned cargo spacecraft launched to resupply the International Space Station.

Originally scheduled for September 2016, the launch was postponed to December 9th due to piping leakage.[1]


Major changes from previous Kounotori include:[2][3]

SFINKS (Solar Cell Film Array Sheet for Next Generation on Kounotori Six) will test thin film solar cells in space.[4]

KITE (Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiment) is an experimental electrodynamic tether (EDT).[5][6] The tether is equipped with a 20 kg end-mass, and will be 700 m long when deployed.[5] A maximum 10 mA current will run through the tether.[5] Kounotori's ISS rendezvous sensor will be utilized to measure how the end-mass moves during the test.[5] The EDT experiment will be conducted following Kounotori 6's departure from the ISS, and is to be held for a week.[5] After the experiment, the tether will be separated before the spacecraft proceeds with the de-orbit maneuvers. The main objective of this experiment is the orbital demonstration of both extending an uncoated bare-tether, and driving electric currents through the EDT.[6] These two technologies will contribute to gaining capabilities to remove space debris.[6]


Kounotori 6 carries about 5.9 t of cargo, consisting of 3.9 t in PLC (Pressurised Logistics Carrier) and 1.9 t in ULC (Unpressurised Logistics Carrier).[7]

Cargo in the pressurized compartment includes 30 bags filled with potable water (600 liters),[8][9] food, crew commodities, CDRA Bed (Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly), TPF (Two-Phase Flow) experiment unit, PS-TEPC (Position-Sensitive Tissue Equivalent Proportional Chamber) radiation measurement instrument, ExHAM (Exposed Experiment Handrail Attachment Mechanism), HDTV-EF2 hi-def and 4K camera, new J-SSOD (JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer), and CubeSats (AOBA-Velox III, TuPOD which comprises two TubeSats (Tancredo-1 and OSNSAT), EGG, ITF-2, STARS-C, FREEDOM, WASEDA-SAT3).[10][11][7]

Cargo in the unpressurized compartment consists of six Lithium-ion batteries and their associated adapter plates to replace existing nickel-hydrogen batteries of the ISS. Since each of the new Li-ion battery has a capability equivalent to two of the current Ni-H batteries, the six new batteries will replace twelve old batteries, out of the 48 existing batteries of the ISS.[8]

On departure from the ISS, Kounotori 6 will carry 9 out of the 12 replaced old batteries which will be disposed by destructive reentry into Earth's atmosphere. The 3 remaining old batteries will stay on the ISS.[9]



On 26 July 2016, the launch was scheduled for 30 September 2016,[12] but on 10 August 2016, postponement was announced due to the leak from piping.[13]


  1. 1 2 "JAXA Press Release". JAXA. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  2. JAXA (1 July 2016). 宇宙ステーション補給機「こうのとり」6号機(HTV6)の概要(その2) (PDF). 宇宙開発利用部会 調査・安全小委員会(第19回) 配付資料 (in Japanese). Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  3. JAXA (1 July 2016). 宇宙ステーション補給機「こうのとり」6号機(HTV6)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). 宇宙開発利用部会 調査・安全小委員会(第19回) 配付資料 (in Japanese). Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  4. "研究成果(より詳細な研究内容)" (in Japanese). JAXA Research and Development Directorate. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "HTV搭載導電性テザー実証実験の検討状況について" (PDF) (in Japanese). JAXA. 2013-09-04. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 "JAXA、宇宙ゴミ除去技術の確立に向け「こうのとり」利用" (in Japanese). Response staff. 2013-09-09. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  7. 1 2 宇宙ステーション補給機「こうのとり」6号機(HTV6)【ミッションプレスキット】 (PDF) (in Japanese). JAXA. 24 November 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  8. 1 2 「こうのとり」6号機へのISSバッテリ搭載作業、水充填装置のプレス公開 (in Japanese). JAXA. June 3, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  9. 1 2 国際宇宙ステーション用バッテリ・飲料水充填装置説明会 (in Japanese). NVS. June 1, 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  10. 「こうのとり」6号機に搭載する超小型衛星7基を公開しました (in Japanese). JAXA. November 7, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  11. "TuPOD almost ready for launch". Group of Aerodynamics for the Use of Space Systems. July 27, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2016.
  12. "Launch of the H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI6" (HTV6) aboard the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6". JAXA. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  13. "Launch Postponement of H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 6 with H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI6" (HTV6) Onboard". JAXA. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.

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