Raumfahrt - Debris-Experiment und Re-Entry von JAXA´s KOUNOTORI6 (HTV6)

























The Japanese HTV-6 Resupply Ship

The Japanese HTV-6 resupply ship is pictured just before its release on astronaut Shane Kimbrough’s 100th day in space. Credit: @Astro_Kimbrough

Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA commanded the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to release a Japanese cargo vehicle at 10:46 a.m. EST. At the time of release, the station was flying 261 statute miles above the south Atlantic Ocean. Earlier, ground controllers used the robotic arm to unberth the cargo craft.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) H-II Transport Vehicle-6 (HTV-6) arrived to the space station Dec. 13, after launching from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan Dec. 9.

The cargo ship will now move to a safe distance below and in front of the station for about a week’s worth of data gathering with a JAXA experiment designed to measure electromagnetic forces using a tether in low-Earth orbit. JAXA is scheduled to deorbit the craft on Feb. 5. Loaded with trash, the vehicle will burn up harmlessly over the Pacific Ocean.

Quelle: NASA


Update: 28.01.2017


JAXA to try out new technique designed to remove debris from space

The Kounotori 6 unmanned cargo spacecraft.

A groundbreaking experiment designed to simulate the removal of debris from space is scheduled to begin in the evening on Jan. 28.


The experiment, which will be carried out by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) over a seven-day period, aims to make use of the earth's magnetic field and an electrified tether to slow space debris and make it fall to the earth's atmosphere before safely burning away.

Space debris from old satellites and defunct rocket hulks is a problem for those involved in space exploration. With an estimated 520,000 pieces of waste -- ranging from one centimeter to 10 centimeters or above in size -- there is a real danger of unwanted collisions between pieces of space debris and the International Space Station (ISS) or satellites.

In the experiment, the unmanned cargo spacecraft "Kounotori 6," which was used to resupply the ISS with items such as food and batteries as well as experimental equipment, will represent a piece of space junk. JAXA will attach a metallic rope, known as a "tether," to the spacecraft. By electrifying the extended tether, it is thought that this will cause a reaction with the Earth's magnetic field, which in turn, should create a brake-like force. Consequently, the altitude of the space debris is expected to drop -- due to the Earth's gravitational pull. Once this has occurred, the debris should burn away, as a result of the resulting friction with the air in the Earth's atmosphere.

The "Kounotori 6" separated from the ISS in the early hours of Jan. 28, and JAXA is on the verge of extending the tether -- which is about 700 meters long -- at 10 p.m. on the same day. First of all, it will be seen whether or not the tether will extend properly, and also whether it can carry an electric current. If successful, JAXA will develop a satellite that can attach a tether to space debris further to remove such waste, aiming to put it into actual use around 2025.

"Kounotori 6" was launched into space in December 2016. After this tether related experiment, it is expected to fall back down to the earth's atmosphere and burn up safely.

Quelle: The Mainichi


Update: 1.02.2017


Japan's 'space junk' collector in trouble

Japan's 'space junk' collector in trouble
The 700-meter-long space tether was due to be extended out from a Japanese cargo ship that was launched in December 2016AFP


An experimental “space junk” collector designed to pull rubbish from the Earth’s orbit has run into trouble, Japanese scientists said Tuesday, potentially a new embarrassment for Tokyo’s high-tech program.

Over 100 million pieces of garbage are thought to be whizzing around the planet, including cast-off equipment from old satellites and bits of rocket, which experts say pose a growing threat to future space exploration.

Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are testing an electrodynamic ‘tether’—created with the help of a fishing net company—to slow the junk down and bring it into a lower orbit.

The hope was that the clutter—built up after more than five decades of human space exploration—would enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up harmlessly long before it has a chance to crash to the planet.

About 700 meters in length, the tether was due to be extended out from a cargo ship launched in December carrying supplies for astronauts at the International Space Station.

But JAXA says it is not sure if the tether, made from thin wires of stainless steel and aluminium, successfully deployed or not.

JAXA will continue trying to remedy the situation before the cargo ship is expected to reenter the atmosphere on Saturday, the agency added.

The trouble comes just two weeks after JAXA had to abort a mission intended to use a mini-rocket to send a satellite into orbit after the spacecraft stopped sending data to ground control shortly after liftoff.

A pricey ultra-high-tech satellite launched in February last year to search for X-rays emanating from black holes and galaxy clusters but was ultimately abandoned after researchers said contact with it had been lost.

Quelle: Japan Today


Update: 4.02.2017


地球周回低軌道上のスペースデブリ(Space debris, 以下「デブリ」)を除去するための推進系として、導電性テザー(Electrodynamic Tether,EDT)推進を有望な候補の1つと考えています。EDTは地球磁場との干渉を利用して軌道降下させる燃料不要の高効率な推進系です。デブリ除去実現に向けた最初のステップとして、EDT要素技術実証を行うために当機構ではHTV(こうのとり)を利用したHTV搭載導電性テザー実証実験(Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiments,KITE, "カイト"と呼んでいます)を計画しています。








  • Ohkawa, Y., Kawamoto, S., et al.: Preparation for On-Orbit Demonstration of Electrodynamic Tether on HTV, Transactions of JSASS, Aerospace Technology Japan, Vol.14, No. ists30, 2016.
  • Kawamoto, S., Ohkawa, Y., et al.: A Flight Experiment of Electrodynamic Tether Using HTV toward the Realization of Debris Removal, Transactions of JSASS, Aerospace Technology Japan, Vol.14, No. ists30, 2016.
  • Iki,K., Kawamoto, S., et al.: Expected On-orbit Tether Deployment Dynamics on the KITE Mission, Transactions of JSASS, Aerospace Technology Japan, Vol.14, No. ists30, 2016.
  • 大川恭志, 河本聡美: 地球磁場を利用したスペースデブリ除去技術の研究," 応用物理, 第85巻, 第10号, 2016.
  • Okumura, T., Miura, Y., et al.: Development of Potential Monitor and Electron Emitter Module for EDT Experiment on HTV-6, 14th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference on website, ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, NL, 04-08 APRIL 2016.
  • 壹岐賢太郎,河本聡美,他: HTV搭載導電性テザー実証実験(KITE)におけるテザー伸展停止用ブレーキの開発状況,第59回宇宙科学技術連合講演会,3L18,2015.
  • 井上浩一,平子敬一他: 導電性テザー実証実験計画, 第57回宇宙科学技術連合講演,2013.





Quelle: JAXA




Raumfahrt+Astronomie-Blog von CENAP 0