A Japanese spacecraft “Kounotori” (White Stork) will be sent to the International Space Station/
“Kounotori”, or HTV-9, which will not be piloted, will blast off on an H-IIB rocket, and NASA TV and JAXA websites plan to livestream the take-off event from the Tanegashima Space Center starting 1 p.m. on May 20th. The craft will arrive at the International Space Station in 5 days. Its grapple will be livestreamed as well.
HTV-9’s task is to bring 4 tons of cargo — water, food, additional parts, and tools for the station’s experiments.
This is reported to be the last mission for HTV-9 following 11 years of service since JAXA is making new vehicles that are lighter and can carry more cargo in a section that can be reused. These new vehicles will be able to perform automated docking to the adapters. They will be introduced in 2022.