Today, at 4:50 a.m. Pacific Time, team Planet gathered for pancakes to watch Japan’s H-IIB rocket launch the HTV-5 “White Stork” cargo vehicle. The White Stork will deliver fourteen Dove spacecraft to the International Space Station before astronauts release them into Low Earth Orbit.
The launch was successful and marks the 101st Dove to reach space. The HTV-5 executed a smooth flight from the Tanegashima— a small island south of mainland Japan— upward and westward across the Pacific Ocean and into orbit.
Planeteers trekked into the office early this morning to watch the launch. Remote employees joined via video conference
The HTV-5 is also packed with scientific experiments and 4.5 tons of crucial ISS supplies and replacement parts. The spacecraft is scheduled to berth with the ISS on Monday, August 24. NASA TV will livestream the grappling and docking sequence.
The Doves are scheduled to be deployed from the space station via Nanoracks deployers early this fall.