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HTV 3 (Kounotori 3) is a Japanese (JAXA) ship designed to deliver up to 6 tonnes of supplies including food, clothes, and experiment devices to the International Space Station (ISS) and return with spent equipment, used clothing, and other waste material. Cargo includes five cubesats intended to be released from the ISS during September. Equipment carried in the outside unpressurised section will be transferred to the Kibo module using the Japanese robotic arm on the ISS.

The spacecraft was captured by the ISS Remote Manipulator Arm on 27 July 2012 at 12:23 UTC, and contact with the nadir port of the Harmony module was at 14:19 UTC. The spacecraft was completely bolted down at 14:34 UTC.

Launch was rescheduled several times, the latest being from 10 May to allow continued testing of the launch vehicle, and then from 26 June. An earlier delay was due to the the Japan earthquake of 2011.

Kounotori is 4 m across and about 10 m long. It consists primarily of three parts: (1) A propulsion module installed at the rear and composed of main engines for orbit maneuvering, reaction control system (RCS) thrusters for position control, fuel and oxidizing reagent tanks, and high-pressure air tanks; (2) an avionics module installed in the center part, with electronic equipment for guidance control, power supply, and telecommunications data processing; and, (3) a logistics carrier that stores supplies.

Alternate Names

  • 38706
  • Kounotori 3
  • H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) 3
  • HTV3

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2012-07-21
Launch Vehicle: H-2B
Launch Site: Tanegashima, Japan

Funding Agency

  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Japan)


  • Resupply/Refurbishment/Repair

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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