Japan cargo spacecraft docks at ISS

Japan's H-2B rocket launches from the Tanegashima Space Center
Japan's first cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station on Friday after astronauts aboard the station grabbed and docked it using a robotic arm. The docking came a week after the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the unmanned HTV transportation vehicle atop an H-2B rocket (in picture).

Japan's first cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday after astronauts aboard the station grabbed and docked it using a robotic arm.

The docking came a week after the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency () launched the unmanned HTV transportation vehicle atop an H-2B rocket.

The HTV is Japan's first freighter spacecraft aiming for a share of space transport after the retirement of the US fleet next year.

"I'm so relieved because I was feeling the pressure and responsibility," Koji Yamanaka, the flight director in charge of the cargo mission, told reporters at Japan's Tsukuba space centre.

It was the first time that astronauts operate a Canadian robotic arm at the ISS to dock a at the station.

The HTV carried 4.5 tonnes of supplies, including food and daily necessities for the six ISS crew, as well as materials for experiments, such as seeds for growing plants in space.

The 10-metre (33-foot) long cylindrical vehicle, which cost 20 billion yen (217 million dollars), will soon unload the supplies.

It will later take waste materials and return to Earth, burning up as it re-enters the atmosphere.

Japan has spent 68 billion yen developing the vehicle, which could be modified in future to carry humans.

(c) 2009 AFP


Explore further

Japan sends first cargo spacecraft to ISS

Citation: Japan cargo spacecraft docks at ISS (2009, September 18) retrieved 26 November 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-japan-cargo-spacecraft-docks-iss.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments