Kounotori 4
HTV-4 being grappled by the SSRMS on 9 August 2013
Mission typeISS resupply
COSPAR ID2013-040A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.39221
Mission duration35 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeH-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)
ManufacturerMitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)
Launch mass15900 kg
Dry mass10500 kg
Start of mission
Launch date3 August 2013, 19:48:46 UTC
RocketH-IIB No. 4
Launch siteTanegashima, Yoshinobu-2
ContractorMitsubishi Heavy Industries
End of mission
Decay date7 September 2013, 06:37 UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit[1]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Berthing at ISS
Berthing portHarmony
RMS capture9 August 2013, 11:22 UTC
Berthing date9 August 2013, 15:28 UTC
Unberthing date4 September 2013, 12:07 UTC
RMS release4 September 2013, 16:20 UTC
Time berthed25 days, 20 hours, 29 minutes
Mass5400 kg
Pressurised3900 kg
Unpressurised1500 kg

Kounotori 4, also known as HTV-4, was the fourth flight of the H-II Transfer Vehicle, an uncrewed cargo spacecraft launched in August 2013 to resupply the International Space Station. It launched from Tanegashima Space Center aboard H-IIB No. 4 (H-IIB F4) rocket on 3 August 2013 and connected to ISS by 9 August 2013; it carried 5,400 kilograms (11,900 lb) of cargo.[2] Kounotori 4 undocked on 4 September 2013 and was destroyed by reentry on 7 September 2013.[3][4]


Major changes of Kounotori 4 from previous HTV are:


Kounotori 4 carries about 5,400 kilograms (11,900 lb) of cargo, consisting of 3,900 kilograms (8,600 lb) in the pressurized compartment and 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb) in the unpressurized compartment.

Pressurized cargo include: CANA (Cabin network system for Kibō), Stirling-Cycle Refrigerator (FROST), ISS Cryogenic Experiment Storage Box (ICE Box), i-Ball and Re-Entry Data Recorder (REDR), four CubeSats: (PicoDragon, ArduSat-1, ArduSat-X, TechEdSat-3p), and the Kirobo (robot companion for Koichi Wakata).

Unpressurized cargo include: MBSU (Main Bus Switching Units) and UTA (Utility Transfer Assembly) which are ISS system spare parts, and a NASA experiment module STP-H4 (Space Test Program - Houston 4).


Launch and rendezvous with ISS

The H-IIB rocket carrying Kounotori 4 lifts off from the Tanegashima Space Center early on 4 August 2013 (Japan Standard Time).

Kounotori 4 was successfully launched atop a H-IIB carrier rocket flying from pad 2 of the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima Space Center at 19:48:46 UTC on 3 August 2013. After 5.5 days of orbital manoeuvres, it arrived to Approach Initiation Point (5 kilometres (3.1 mi) behind ISS) at 05:31 UTC, 9 August 2013,[6] and started the final approach sequence at 08:05 UTC.[7] The ISS's robotic arm Canadarm2 grappled Kounotori 4 at 11:22 UTC, and fastened to ISS's Common berthing mechanism (CBM) on 16:32 UTC. All berthing operations were completed at 18:38 UTC.[8]

Operation while berthed to ISS

The ISS crew opened the hatch and entered to Pressurized Logistics Carrier (PLC) at 11:11 UTC, 10 August 2013.[9]

Departure from ISS and reentry to Earth atmosphere

Kounotori 4 undocked from the ISS at 16:20 UTC, on 4 September 2013, Karen Nyberg then used the stations Canadarm2 to manoeuvre HTV-4 away from the International Space Station.[3]

Trajectory after the release was controlled so that the reentry coincides with ISS passing over to observe it. Japanese flight controllers have deorbited HTV-4 on 06:11 UTC, on 7 September 2013, and it reentered to the atmosphere around 06:37 UTC, on7 September 2013.[4]


  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  2. ^ NASA - Japanese Cargo Craft Captured, Berthed to Station (2013) Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b "Station Releases a White Stork and Awaits a Swan". NASA. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ a b "Successful re-entry of H-II Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI 4" (HTV-4)". JAXA. 7 September 2013. Archived from the original on 15 September 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Features of HTV4". Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  6. ^ "KOUNOTORI4 Reaches 5km behind the ISS". JAXA. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  7. ^ "KOUNOTORI4 Resumes Approach to the ISS". JAXA. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  8. ^ "ISS Crew Completed KOUNOTORI4 Berthing Operation". JAXA. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  9. ^ JAXA (12 August 2013). "ISS Crew Entered KOUNOTORI4 Pressurized Logistics Carrier (PLC). Transfer of the Exposed Pallet (EP) was Completed". Retrieved 15 August 2013.