NASA Television will provide live coverage of the third Japanese "Kounotori" H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) cargo ship's departure from the International Space Station in two broadcasts Wednesday, Sept. 12. The first, covering unberthing, will begin at
6:30 a.m. EDT, and the second, covering release, will begin at 11:30 a.m.
HTV-3, launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) July 21, arrived to the orbiting laboratory July 27 with several tons of supplies and experiments. Departure, originally planned for Sept. 6, was delayed to accommodate a second spacewalk by Expedition 32 Flight Engineers Sunita Williams of NASA and Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA on Wednesday.
Hoshide and fellow Expedition 32 Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA will be at the controls of the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to unbolt and disengage the cargo craft from the station's Harmony module. A few hours later the astronauts will release the cargo craft, which will be moved a safe distance away from the complex.
JAXA flight controllers later will fire the spacecraft's engine, initiating its destructive entry back through Earth's atmosphere.
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