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ISS Japan Space Transportation Technology

HTV-5 On Its Way To the ISS 87

nojayuk writes: There's another launcher delivering cargo to the ISS apart from US and Russian vehicles, and it's Japanese. The fifth Koutonori (White Stork) cargo vehicle was successfully launched today at from pad 2 of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima south of Tokyo at 11:50:49 UTC, carrying over 5 tonnes of food, spare parts and scientific equipment to the ISS in a pressurised cabin and an external racking system. This is the fifth successful launch in a row for the Japanese H2B launcher. The Koutonoris have carried over 20 tonnes of cargo in total to the ISS, more than double the amount of SpaceX's six successful CRS resupply flights.
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HTV-5 On Its Way To the ISS

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  • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Wednesday August 19, 2015 @07:38PM (#50350843)
    That the amount of cargo transported is higher in less launches is irrelevant. The falcon heavy achieves a Les than 1k dollars per pound to Leo cost. I have been unable to easily find a similar number for the koutonori. Anyone here know how it stacks up? That's a more critical number.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      falcon heavy has not achieved anything yet

    • Which launch of the Falcon Heavy achieved a cost of $1000/lb?
      The last Falcon 9 launch blew up due to dodgy parts...

    • Falcon launch cost= total $ / total mass=57M/13,000 Kg=4,384 $/Kg, approx 1700 $/lb. Koutonori=121M / 16,500 Kg=7,333 $/Kg, approx 3000 $/lb. If the Japanese team can cut costs in half they have a market, unless Falcon can cut costs by 15% to match.
    • Not completely. There are items that the H2B is the only rocket that can carry them as they are physically too large for the Falcon or other lifters. Cost per pound becomes irrelevant if you can't make your item fit on the smaller launchers.

      The Falcon 9 is 3.66m in diameter the H2B is 5.2m sometimes that is going to make all the difference.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Both the linked article, as well as wikipedia seem to agree that the spelling is incorrect.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-II_Transfer_Vehicle

    • While we're making corrections...

      from pad 2 of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima south of Tokyo

      for very loose definitions of the word "south". The island housing the launch site is just south of Kyushu island, which is decidedly west-southwest of Tokyo.

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @12:13AM (#50351771)

    I'm a bit surprised by some posters talking like a success for the Japanese somehow hurts spacex or vice versa. It's good to have lots of redundancy.

    As to costs, even if the Japanese launcher can match or beat spacex costs, spacex has one thing no one else even the Russians have. That's return cargo capability. For research purposes this is a big deal.

    • Agreed. The more players the better, and the more solutions the better. This is seen in SpaceX's return capacity and in the H2B's seriously wide footprint meaning it can carry items to orbit that won't physically fit on the Falcon 9. Each launch system has its place and if SpaceX makes the costs cheaper we all benefit.

  • The European Space Agency has sent a few deliveries to ISS too [wikipedia.org] using its hugely successful Ariane 5 launcher and a robot delivery vehicle [esa.int]

    .

Heisengberg might have been here.

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