Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unmanned Japanese Freighter Arrives at ISS

The Japanese H-II HTV delivers 3.5 tons of supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station. Unlike previous European and Russian automated freighters re-supplying the space station, Japan's spacecraft is equipped to bring both pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the ISS. After a month's stay at the ISS, the H-II HTV will be sent home, burning up as it enters the earth's atmosphere.

Japan's first unmanned space freighter reached the International Space Station Sept. 17, marking another milestone in international space cooperation. Hovering approximately 30 feet away from the ISS, the Japanese cargo pod was grasped by a Canadian-built robotic arm with European and American astronauts at controls. The entire operation was overseen by a Russian commander.

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