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On May 20 at 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK time a Japanese H-2B rocket will launch a JAXA/HTV9 cargo chip from Tanegashima, Japan with equipment and supplies to the International Space Station.

HTV-9 supply craft
Japanese HTV Cargo Spacecraft. Credit JAXA/ NASA


Will the UK See the HTV9 Supply Craft After Launch.

It is highly likely that the supply craft will be visible at times in the evening as it races to catch up with the Space Station. However, due to a constantly changing orbit, it is difficult to predict when, but it should be on the same trajectory as the ISS.

What Will it Look Like?

The HTV9 Supply Spacecraft will look like a much smaller and fainter version of the ISS and if we are lucky, we will be able to see it in front or following the Space Station as it fly’s over with the ISS prior to docking on May 25th

The spacecraft will arrive at the station Monday, May 25 so we have a few days to spot it and we should be able to predict where it is after a day or two after launch.

You can find out when the International Space Station is passing over this May and by following @VirtualAstro on twitter and Facebook

If the launch is cancelled or scrubbed for some reason, it will be postponed to a future date which will be posted here.

The launch of the HTV9 Supply spacecraft is in advance of the first ever manned commercial flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon – Demo Two flight scheduled for May 27th. Enabling the US to once again independently send astronauts to the Space Station and beyond. They have had to hop on Russian Soyuz spacecraft since the Space Shuttles were retired. More info about the Crew Dragon launch will be posted shortly on this site.

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