JAXA's Tsukuba Space Centre Resumes Operations

JAXA's Tsukuba Space Centre Resumes Operations

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) resumed control of its Kibo module and KOUNOTORI cargo spacecraft from the Tsukuba Space Centre at 4:00 pm JST (Japan Standard Time) March 22. Operations were temporarily transferred to NASA after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

JAXA said the space center had been closed due to “damage and security issues caused the earthquake.”

Kibo is Japan’s laboratory that is an integrated component of the International Space Station (ISS). KOUNOTORI, more commonly known as HTV-2, is a cargo spacecraft temporarily berthed to the ISS. It is scheduled to unberth on March 29 JST and reenter on March 30 JST. The spacecraft is not designed to survive reentry and will burn up in the atmosphere.

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