Canadarm2, the Canadian robotic arm on board the International Space Station (ISS) will make another cosmic catch on Thursday, January 27 when it grapples Japan's Kounotori2 H-II Transfer Vehicle and docks it to the station.
Kounotori2, a cargo ship also known as HTV2, was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 12:37 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, January 22 and will take 5 days to rendezvous with the ISS. Kounotori2 is ferrying 3855 kg of cargo and spare parts to the ISS, including two components for the Canadian Space Agency: a spare Canadian Remote Power Controller Module (a circuit-breaker box); and a Video Distribution Unit (which serves as an interface between the Mobile Servicing System's cameras and video system).
On January 27, Expedition 26 Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli will command Canadarm2 to reach out, grapple Kounotori2 and attach it to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module. The grapple will begin at 6 a.m. Eastern, with the actual capture scheduled for 6:44 a.m. The docking should be complete around 11 a.m.
On February 2-4, Dextre, the ISS robotic handyman, will unload a pallet of spare parts and place them on an experiment platform outside the Japanese Kibo module. The operation will mark Dextre's first official task since his certification in December 2010.