H-II Transfer Vehicle Automated Freighter

Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) successfully blasted off from the island of Tanegashima, south of Japan. This unmanned freighter carries 4.5 tons of equipment and supplies to the International Space Station; its maximum capacity is 6 tons.


(HTV lift-off)

The 35,000-pound H-2 Transfer Vehicle was tucked inside the H-2B rocket, which also made its maiden flight, for liftoff at 1701:46 GMT (1:01:46 p.m. EDT; 2:01:46 a.m. Friday JST), a rare nighttime launch for Japan.

A pair of hydrogen-burning first stage engines ignited a few seconds before liftoff, ramping up to full power before computers commanded four large solid rocket boosters to light.

Spewing more than 3 million pounds of thrust, the powerful launcher quickly sped away from Launch Pad No. 2 at the Tanegashima spaceport, flying southeast and piercing an enveloping deck of clouds less than 30 seconds later.

The strap-on motors burned out and separated as designed two minutes after liftoff, and the nearly 17-foot diameter widebody first stage completed its job around four minutes later.

Here's the idealized version of the H-II Transfer Vehicle mission; watch this HTV video.

One day, we may get to the point where these mundane transfers of supplies and personnel are routinely carried out by automated ships, like the automated shuttles in Star Trek movies.


(Star Trek crew enroute to Enterprise on fully automated shuttle)

The idea of a space freighter can be found as early as 1940; see this reference to A.E. van Vogt's space freighter from his 1940 story Vault of Beast.

Via Space Flight Now.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/14/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.' - Jack Williamson, 1941.

Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.' - Garrett P. Serviss, 1898.

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.' - Ray Cummings, 1930.

Starshade Will Help Space Telescope To Search For Exoplanets
'When it found planetary systems in its field, automatically shifted upon them a higher powered telespectroscope ...' - Edmond Hamilton, 1936.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

'Agression Detectors' Don't Work When Spying On Students
'The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level...'

Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.'

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'

Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'

CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'

Starshade Will Help Space Telescope To Search For Exoplanets
'When it found planetary systems in its field, automatically shifted upon them a higher powered telespectroscope ...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.