Unmanned space transport ship “Konototake” final launch succeeded

Unmanned space carrier “Konotore” last launch successful May 21 6:06

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The launch of the No.1 aircraft, the last of The Konoto, a Japanese unmanned space transport ship carrying supplies to the International Space Station, was launched at Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, and before 1 a.m. on The 21st, “Konotore” was cut off as planned, and the launch was successful.
The H2B rocket, which was carrying the Japanese unmanned space transport ship Konotore Ii, was launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture at 2:31 a.m. on The 21st, and continued to rise while separating auxiliary engines and the first stage.

About 1a.m., about a minute after the launch, the launch was successful, separating “Konotoori” at an altitude of more than 1km as planned.

Konotoori is a cylindrical spacecraft with a total length of 1 meter and a diameter of 1 meter, and was developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to transport supplies to the International Space Station, which is orbiting the Earth at an altitude of about 1 km.

The maximum capacity to transport to the International Space Station can carry more than six tons of supplies, but this unit will finish operation.

Konotore began operation 11 years ago in 2009, and has successfully launched all nine aircraft from the first aircraft to this time, delivering approximately 50 tons of supplies to the International Space Station.

JAXA plans to develop the HTV-X as a successor to Konotori and launch it by the end of next year, carry supplies to the International Space Station, and also to the gateway, a space station that orbits the moon that is scheduled to be built in the future.

After being cut off from the rocket, the “Konotore” aircraft will reach an altitude of around 1km and arrive at the International Space Station on The 25th of this month.

Launch personnel ‘very relieved’

Naohiko Abe, head of defense and space segments at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which was in charge of the launch, said, “We are very relieved to be able to launch safely with the understanding of local stakeholders, as there are many restrictions due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection.”

Regarding the launch and transportation of private satellites that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is working on, “When we started the service, japanese rockets were not even remembered by name, but the H2A and H2B rockets have successfully launched 49 of the 50 aircraft, and high reliability has been recognized around the world. H2A has been very tough with overseas rockets in terms of price, but we would like to increase orders by lowering the price of the H3 rocket that is currently under development.”