Japan's space freighter in orbit 日本成功发射货运飞船
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2009-09-11 05:35 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

Japan has successfully launched its new space freighter from the Tanegashima base in the south of the country.


The 16.5-tonne unmanned H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) is on a mission to re-supply the space station.

Its role is vitally important to the station project, which is set to lose the servicing capability2 of the US shuttle fleet next year.

The freighter left Earth atop an H-IIB rocket at 0201 local time on Friday (1701 GMT, Thursday).

Separation from the rocket's upper-stage was confirmed some 15 minutes later.

The HTV mission is being directed by engineers in Tsukuba, Japan, and at the US space agency's (Nasa) mission control in Houston.

The vehicle must conduct a number of tests of its navigation and rendezvous3(约会,约会地点) systems before making a close approach to the International Space Station (ISS).

Docking is not expected to take place until at least day eight of the mission.

The freighter(货船) is carrying about 4.5 tonnes of cargo4 on this maiden5 flight(首航). It has the capacity to carry six tonnes.

Over the next few years, the HTV, and the other robotic re-supply ships like it, will be central to the operation of a fully1 crewed, fully functional6 ISS.

"This HTV-1 vehicle is a demonstration7 flight to verify its functionality and performance," said Masazumi Miyake, one of the Japanese space agency's (Jaxa) senior officials in the US.

"After completion of this mission we are planning to launch one operational HTV per year on average."

Grab and dock

The flight to orbit marked the first time Jaxa had used the H-IIB rocket, a beefed up version of the existing H-11A launcher.

The rocket incorporates additional solid-fuel boosters and a second main engine on its core stage to achieve significant extra thrust.

Unlike all previous spacecraft to visit the International Space Station (ISS), the HTV will not drive all the way into the orbiting platform.

Instead, the Japanese ship will simply park itself under the bow of the ISS to allow the station's robotic arm to grab it.

The vessel8 will then be locked into an Earth-facing docking port on the Harmony (Node 2) connecting module9.

Safety will be the primary concern for the ISS astronauts. The robotic vessel will be monitored constantly to see that it is behaving as expected.

"[The astronauts] can command the vehicle to abort10, to retreat or to hold. They can also command the grapple(抓斗) fixture11 to separate in case there is a failed capture," said Dana Weigel, a US space agency (Nasa) flight director for the mission.

The HTV will remain attached to the ISS for about six weeks while its supplies are unloaded.

In addition to the cargo (3.6t) carried in its pressurised compartment12 (accessed from inside the ISS), the ship has important cargo (900kg) mounted on a pallet(托盘) in an unpressurised compartment.

These exterior13(外部,表面) supplies include two new Earth-observation experiments for the exposed "terrace" of instruments that sits outside Japan's Kibo science module.

Again, astronauts will use the station arm to remove the pallet before handing it across to the Kibo arm, which will then position the new experiments.

As the freighter's supplies are used up, the ship will be filled with station rubbish. Ultimately, it will undock from the ISS and take itself into a destructive dive through the atmosphere somewhere over the south Pacific.

When the US shuttles retire at the end of next year or the beginning of 2011, the ISS project will become dependent on five robotic freighters for its logistics:

• The Russian Progress and European ATV have already demonstrated their flight capability. Four more ATVs have been booked to fly to the station, one a year starting in 2010.

• After the first HTV mission, Japan plans a further six flights through to 2015.

• Two commercial US suppliers, SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, are in the process of developing their Dragon and Cygnus supply ships. The first of these is scheduled to deliver supplies to the ISS no earlier than the end of 2010.

HTV and Dragon are particularly important because of their ability to deliver larger items in their unpressurised compartments14(间隔,个别室) that would not normally fit through the docking port of a pressurised compartment.


1 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
2 capability JsGzZ     
  • She has the capability to become a very fine actress.她有潜力成为杰出演员。
  • Organizing a whole department is beyond his capability.组织整个部门是他能力以外的事。
3 rendezvous XBfzj     
  • She made the rendezvous with only minutes to spare.她还差几分钟时才来赴约。
  • I have a rendezvous with Peter at a restaurant on the harbour.我和彼得在海港的一个餐馆有个约会。
4 cargo 6TcyG     
  • The ship has a cargo of about 200 ton.这条船大约有200吨的货物。
  • A lot of people discharged the cargo from a ship.许多人从船上卸下货物。
5 maiden yRpz7     
  • The prince fell in love with a fair young maiden.王子爱上了一位年轻美丽的少女。
  • The aircraft makes its maiden flight tomorrow.这架飞机明天首航。
6 functional 5hMxa     
  • The telephone was out of order,but is functional now.电话刚才坏了,但现在可以用了。
  • The furniture is not fancy,just functional.这些家具不是摆着好看的,只是为了实用。
7 demonstration 9waxo     
  • His new book is a demonstration of his patriotism.他写的新书是他的爱国精神的证明。
  • He gave a demonstration of the new technique then and there.他当场表演了这种新的操作方法。
8 vessel 4L1zi     
  • The vessel is fully loaded with cargo for Shanghai.这艘船满载货物驶往上海。
  • You should put the water into a vessel.你应该把水装入容器中。
9 module iEjxj     
  • The centre module displays traffic guidance information.中央模块显示交通引导信息。
  • Two large tanks in the service module held liquid oxygen.服务舱的两个大气瓶中装有液态氧。
10 abort Tzgzxu     
  • The captain instructed them to abort the mission.上尉指示他们中止执行任务。
  • With this button the user can abort the audio sequence.用户可以用该按钮终止音频序列。
11 fixture hjKxo     
  • Lighting fixture must be installed at once.必须立即安装照明设备。
  • The cordless kettle may now be a fixture in most kitchens.无绳电热水壶现在可能是多数厨房的固定设备。
12 compartment dOFz6     
  • We were glad to have the whole compartment to ourselves.真高兴,整个客车隔间由我们独享。
  • The batteries are safely enclosed in a watertight compartment.电池被安全地置于一个防水的隔间里。
13 exterior LlYyr     
  • The seed has a hard exterior covering.这种子外壳很硬。
  • We are painting the exterior wall of the house.我们正在给房子的外墙涂漆。
14 compartments 4e9d78104c402c263f5154f3360372c7     
n.间隔( compartment的名词复数 );(列车车厢的)隔间;(家具或设备等的)分隔间;隔层
  • Your pencil box has several compartments. 你的铅笔盒有好几个格。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The first-class compartments are in front. 头等车室在前头。 来自《简明英汉词典》
TAG标签: space Japan freighter HTV