The HTV-7 (Kounotori-7) cargo craft of Japan was unberthed from its connection to the International Space Station by the ISS robot arm at 1132 GMT on 7 November 2018 (Recorrected).  The robot arm then released the JAXA-owned HTV-7 into independent orbit at 1651 GMT on 7 November.  The HTV-7 then pulled away. It will later release a small capsule in a re-entry test during the suborbital portion of the re-entry.

The International Space Station (ISS). Courtesy: NASA

Astrophysicist and veteran spaceflight commentator Jonathan McDowell notes that this is the first time that an HTV craft has been released from the ISS without carrying its “Exposed Pallet”.  The reason was that it is still not unloaded via a spacewalk after being carried to the ISS (it was carrying new batteries).  This was due to crew not arriving after their Soyuz MS-10 ejection from the failing Soyuz FG launch.

Update on 12 November 2018: HTV-7 has released the HTV Small Re-entry Capsule (HSRC) and then re-entered itself on 10 November 2018 (Date corrected).  The HTV was destroyed on re-entry at 2138 GMT, while the heat-shielded HSRC made a parachute-aided splashdown in the Pacific at 2206 GMT. Recovered by ship at 0137 GMT.  All times according to Jonathan McDowell.

How the HSRC fits into HTV cargo craft. Courtesy: NASA via