Saturday, January 22, 2011

God Speed Kountori-----launch successful on Saturday.

                                                      Flight mode on

                                                      All systems are ready.

                                                      Many engine start.

                                                      We have lift off of the H-11B launch vehicle No 2 with Kounotori2 on board at 2.37.57 p.m. (Japan Standard Time) at the Tanegashima Space Centre.

                                                      After lift off the launch was shifted to the range control centre.

                                                      The HTV is flying smoothly.

                                                      This is the end of the launch report of the HTV flight.

                                                      About 15 minutes after take off Kounotori successfull separated from the rocket.amidst thunderous applause by the flight controllers at the missions operations control room. After this much awaited separation, it automatically activitated its sub systems, stabilised its attitude and performed self checks. Thereafter, it established communications with Nasa's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite and immediately initiated communications with the HTV mission control centre at the Tsukuba Space Centre.

                        Date: January 22,2011: The lift off time in India was around 11 a.m. The launch commentary was both in English and Japanese. ``Beyond Moon and Mars (BMM)'' was unable to watch the live webcast because it had to attend some important household chores. But, at the earliest oppurtunity it accessed JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) later in the evening and witnessed the grand lift off and added it the favourites.

                       Kounotori is Japan;s unmanned cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS), having a total mass was 16,000 kg,  It is expected to reach the station carrying 5,300 kgs of cargo, including science experiments, around 1 a.m. (IST) on January 28,2011. It is tentatively slated to depart from the space station after about a month, burn up while re entering and fall into the South Pacific Ocean. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has assured that there will be no danger to human lives since this is the zone in which Russia's Mir Station was also dumped.

                       During its stay at the station there will be transfer of cargo from the spacecraft to the station and unwanted items will be shifted to Kounotori. As BMM stated earlier, another historical event will take place in February 2011 because ``Johannes Kepler,'' the unmanned automated transfer vehicle of the European Space Agency will also dock at the space station.           

                      The launch of Kounotori on Saturday marks an important day in the history of global space exploration because this will be the first Asian effort to send a spacecraft to the space station. It also assumes significance in the context of the space shuttle being phased out with the last flight scheduled for June 2011.

                      The science payloads which Kounotori will deliver to the ISS will include the effect of human hair to long term spaceflight, what are known as ``Plant Seeds For Asian Communities'' and a few Nasa experiments. The plant project is called the ``Space Seeds For Asian Future.'' According to Jaxa, the seeds flown abroad the ISS will be returned to the ground in the Nasa space shuttle flight which will follow Discovery. The space-flown seeds will be utilised in education programmes especially at Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam./

                      Good Luck Kounotori.                       



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