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- Type: VAB
- Class: ship
- Part Count: 46
- Mods: 4
- New TantaresLV
- Procedural Fairings
- Squad (stock)
The Japanese agency ISAS (Institute of Space and Astronautical Science) began plans to develop a logistics vehicle for the then-planned ISS (International Space Station) and slowly the HTV (H-II Transfer Vehicle) took shape. It was originally slated for a 2001 launch although this was delayed several times as ISAS became a new branch of the new Japanese space agency, JAXA (National Research and Development Agency on Aerospace Research and Development) and finally saw its first launch in September 2009. There have been six successful HTV missions thus far with plans for at least three more before a new vehicle will take its place.
The Japanese have had several small space programs dating all the way back to the 1950s with many hopeful they would eventually be able to launch their own satellites and manned vehicles. One of its best successes was the development of the H-I rocket which was developed from the Thor rocket family. It had nine successful missions between 1986 and 1992 with relatively small payloads but confirmed Japan’s place along other countries. It also led to the successful development of the H-II rocket with five successful missions (and two failures) between 1992 and 1999. This was even further continued with the H-IIA rocket first launched in 2001 and after 33 successful launches has become Japan’s premier lifter. The H-IIB was a modification of the H-IIA designed to carry the HTV.
The H2B is an approximation of the H-IIB rocket and uses a lower liquid fueled stage with boosters and a lower thrust upper stage. The lower stage and boosters are fired together with the boosters depleting in the lower upper atmosphere and easily decoupled. The lower stage continues the ascent and may also handle the orbital circularization. The upper stage can either be used for part of the orbital circularization or to help make orbital corrections.
The HTV is a logistics spacecraft weighing in at 8 tonnes and is an approximation of the real-life HTV. It can carry over 1500 units of monopropellent to a space station in LKO (Low Kerbin Orbit) and is rather simplistic compared to most spacecraft. The solar panels are built into the three main sections of the spacecraft so that operating solar panels, which can potentially be broken, is unnecessary. The spacecraft is powered by a fairly powerful monopropellent engine and is meant to rendezvous and dock with its target under its own power. If you don’t want to use up your monopropellent fuel supply you could supplement it with the H2B’s second stage.
Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.3.0.
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