HTV-9 freighter undocks from ISS after delivering battery upgrades marking the end of an era

by | Aug 20, 2020 | History, International Space Station, JAXA, Satellites, Seradata News, space station

The HTV-9 (H-2 Transfer Vehicle) cargo freighter undocked from the ISS and was released into Earth orbit at 1736 GMT, 18 August. This model is due to be replaced by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) with the new HTV-X generation. The HTV, also known as Kounotori which translates to “white stork” in Japanese, forms part of its contribution to the operating costs of the ISS.

This mission delivered 6,200 kg of cargo to the ISS. An important payload was six ISS battery “Orbital Replacement Units”. These are new lithium-ion batteries that can replace the multiple older nickel-hydrogen ones currently used to power the station. This delivery rounds off a series of battery upgrades that have been made possible by previous HTV missions (HTV-6, -7, and -8). Astronauts installed this last batch of upgraded batteries onto the station while HTV-9 was docked.

HTV-9 being released by Canadarm 2. Courtesy of NASA/JAXA.


Following its release by the Canadarm 2 robotic arm, HTV-9 began a two-day free flight before a destructive re-entry into the atmosphere. This re-entry fulfils an important ISS role, as it enables the crew to dispose of various waste products and unneeded equipment. The freighter conducted three burns on 20 August, at 0040 GMT, 0211 GMT and 0640 GMT, to ensure a proper re-entry. This was reportedly achieved at 0707 GMT, marking the end of the HTV-9 mission.

The next flight of a Japanese freighter to the ISS is planned for 2022. This will see the new Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-built (MHI) H-3 rocket launch the next generation HTV-X mission.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

IAC 2020 Online: Space Agency chiefs note Covid-19 problems and solutions…and their space cooperation attempts

At the Heads of Space Agency online plenary at the International Astronautical Congress IAC 2020, Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s Administrator, started Read more

Epsilon-S rocket will be developed and operated by IHI

JAXA, Japan's equivalent of NASA, which is more formally known as the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. has signed a deal Read more

Final H-2B launch delivers last of the current generation HTV freighters to LEO

On 20 May 2020, at 1731 GMT, the last planned launch of the MHI-built, H-2B variant took place. The mission Read more

JAXA approves MMX sample return mission to Phobos

On 19 February 2020, JAXA, alongside the Japanese government approved the development of the MMX mission. MMX - Martian Moon Read more

A selection of newspace business for Rocket Lab, Blue Canyon Technologies and Astroscale

Rocket Lab Rocket Lab has received a launch contract from NASA to carry the CAPSTONE, 12U CubeSat, to the Moon. Read more

Following launch pad issues Japan launches HTV-8 mission to the ISS

Lifting-off from the Tanegashima Space Center, Southern Japan, at 1605 GMT, 24 September, a Japanese H-2B rocket has carried an Read more

Japan launches greenhouse gas monitoring successor satellite GOSAT-2

Launching from the Tanegashima Space Center, Japan, at 0408 GMT, 29 October 2018, an Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), H-2A202 rocket Read more

JAXA launches seventh HTV freighter to ISS (Corrected)

Following delays caused by both the weather and the launch vehicle, at 1752 GMT, on 22 September, the seventh HTV Read more

Cookies & Privacy

Click here to read about use of cookies on the website