How to watch Japanese cargo ship depart from International Space Station live

This Tuesday, a Japanese cargo ship will depart from the International Space Station (ISS) having delivered four tons of supplies for the crew and scientific equipment and experiments. The craft first arrived at the ISS on May 20, and delivered components including new lithium-ion batteries which were used for the ongoing upgrades to the station’s power systems.

NASA will show the undocking and departure of the cargo ship live, and we’ve got the details on how you can watch.

The International Space Station is seen on June 30, 2020
The International Space Station is seen on June 30, 2020, orbiting almost directly above Marfa, Texas, on a southeastern orbital trek that would take it over Mexico and across South America. In the foreground, is the “Dextre” fine-tuned robotic hand with Japan’s H-II Transfer Vehicle-9 (HTV-9) behind it. Inside the HTV-9, is the HTV-8 pallet holding old nickel-hydrogen batteries removed from the station during previous spacewalks. NASA

How to watch the departure live

To watch the event from home, you can tune in to NASA TV using the video embedded at the top of this page, or head to NASA TV’s website. Coverage begins at 1:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 18, with the release of the cargo ship from the ISS scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, commander of Expedition 63 on the ISS, will use the station’s robotic arm to release the ship. It will then be commanded by JAXA from its HTV control center in Tsukuba, Japan.

A last mission for the Kounotori

This will mark the last time that a Kounotori or HTV-9 (H-II Transfer Vehicle) cargo ship will depart from the ISS. The Kounotori model, the name of which means “white stork,” is being retired after nine successful missions to the ISS, during which the ships carried a total of more than 40 tons of supplies.

The Japanese space agency (JAXA) is working on a new model of cargo ship, called the HTV-X, which will replace the HTV-9. The aim is for JAXA to launch the first HTV-X in 2022.

JAXA will also be involved in the upcoming Crew-1 mission, the first operational mission of SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon capsule. One of the four astronauts aboard this launch will be JAXA mission specialist Soichi Noguchi, an experienced astronaut who has flown on a space shuttle mission and has previously served on the ISS as part of Expedition 22/23.

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