Japan sends cargo to space station

July 21, 2012

A Japanese H-IIB rocket blasted off Saturday to deliver an unmanned supplies vessel to the International Space Station.

The rocket lifted off into an overcast sky from the southern island of Tanegashima on schedule at 11:06 am (0206 GMT), according to live images relayed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

About 15 minutes later, the rocket successfully released a cargo vessel called "konotori" (stork in Japanese), containing supplies such as food, clothing and tools necessary for experiments to be done in space.

The cargo should reach the International Space Station, where Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide is staying, on July 27.

Japan's leading aerospace firm Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which helped develop the rocket, is expected to take over future operations of the H-IIB and send four more cargo vehicles to the International Space Station by 2016.

After the launch, JAXA president Keiji Tachikawa said the rocket should also be used to explore the potentially lucrative satellite launch market.

"By expanding the scope of its use, (the H-IIB) I hope, will be used to respond to various demands of clients," he told reporters.

Explore further: Japan sends first cargo spacecraft to ISS

Related Stories

Japan sends first cargo spacecraft to ISS

September 10, 2009

Japan early Friday launched its first cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station, aiming for a share of space transport after the retirement of the US space shuttle fleet next year.

Japan sends first cargo spacecraft to ISS

September 11, 2009

Japan on Friday launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station, aiming for a share of space transport after the retirement of the US space shuttle fleet next year.

Japan delays space cargo launch

January 19, 2011

Bad weather delayed Wednesday the launch of a Japan space agency mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

Japan to launch space cargo mission Saturday

January 21, 2011

Japan's space agency said it would launch a rocket on Saturday to deliver more than five tons of supplies to the International Space Station, after an earlier postponement.

Japan rocket ferrying supplies to space station

January 22, 2011

(AP) -- A Japanese rocket carrying supplies for the International Space Station successfully lifted off from a remote island Saturday on a mission designed to help fill a hole left by the retirement of NASA's space shuttle ...

Recommended for you

'Bathtub rings' suggest Titan's dynamic seas

July 28, 2015

Saturn's moon, Titan, is the only object in the Solar System other than Earth known to have liquid on its surface. While most of the lakes are found around the poles, the dry regions near the equator contain signs of evaporated ...

Born-again planetary nebula

July 28, 2015

Beneath the vivid hues of this eye-shaped cloud, named Abell 78, a tale of stellar life and death is unfolding. At the centre of the nebula, a dying star – not unlike our Sun – which shed its outer layers on its way to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.