Home International Japanese supply ship heads to International Space Station

Japanese supply ship heads to International Space Station

International Space Station

An unmanned Japanese supply ship is headed to the International Space Station filled with cargo including food, experiments and new batteries. The craft was launched this morning from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan.

It will take four-and-a-half days to reach the space station. The launch was delayed for about two weeks because of bad weather and a mechanical problem.

The delay has led NASA to postpone two space walks to install the six lithium-ion batteries until new crew members arrive next month. They will replace the aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for the station’s electric power, enabling an extension of its operations.

The supply ship is a 9-metre long cylinder that will be retrieved by the space station’s robotic arm, Kounotori, which means white stork.
Once it is unloaded, the supply craft will be filled with trash and sent Earth-ward. It will be destroyed when it re-enters the atmosphere.


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