Space station crew grabs new cargo ship from orbit

September 17, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
The International Space Station

(AP) -- A brand new Japanese space station cargo ship has arrived at its destination 225 miles above Earth.

Astronaut Nicole Stott used the robot arm at the international space station to grab the 18-ton supply ship Thursday afternoon. The vessel - the first of its kind - was launched a week ago from Japan.

It was the first time an unmanned ship was plucked from like this, from 30 feet out. The older-style Russian ships actually dock at the space station. So do Europe's freighters.

The Japanese craft is loaded with food, laptop computers, atmospheric studies and a robotic hand. The hand will supplement the larger Japanese robot arm that's already there.

Japan spent $680 million on the delivery trip.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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