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Also called Kiku 7, the two units are called Orihime and Hikoboshi


Designation 25064 / 97074B
Launch date 27 Nov 1997
Country of origin Japan
Mission Experimental
Perigee/Apogee 550 km
Inclination 35°
Launch vehicle H2 #5

ETS 7 is composed of a chase satellite and a target satellite. Its objectives are to carry out experiments to confirm the basic technologies for rendezvous-docking and space robotics. It will enable future Japanese supply missions to dock reliably with the International Space Station.

Success in orbit will be reliant on an internal navigation system which contains three sensors. A GPS receiver will be used to compute the relative positions and speeds of the separated satellite units from 10 km out to the 600 meter final approach stage. The rendezvous laser radar (LR) will then take over, computing the target satellite's position and azimuth from 660 to 2 meters, whereupon the proximity sensor will make final attitude and positional adjustments. Of the three sensing systems, the LR and the proximity sensor represent cutting-edge technology.

Had solar panel problems right after launch. This was solved quickly but an automatic shutdown occured on Nov 30. In Aug 1999 it was reported that the target had once been successfully released and automatically regrabbed by the robot. Two others rendezvous & docking were performed correctly and several other experiments including remote-piloting and collision-avoidance were performed.

The satellite achieved: automatic rendezvous and docking of two unmanned satellites, remotely controlled rendezvous from the Earth station, satellite-borne robot systema and automatic capture of a satellite with a robot arm.

Sub satellite

Target - Orihime
Designation: 25424 / 97074E
Transmits on 2.22 GHz

End of life

Out of service Dec 1999
Cause end of mission
Decay 13 Nov 2015

External resources


sat-index articles

Technical data


Prime contractor Toshiba
Mass at launch 2950 kg (chaser: 2540 kg, target: 410 kg)
Mass in orbit  
Solar array  
Stabilization 3-axis
DC power  
Design lifetime 1.5 years

Will use Comets to demonstrate inter-orbit links. Transmits on 2.27699 & 2.04425 GHz

The docking system was developed by Mitsubishi.

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