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Japan cargo craft heads for space station
Science & Technology

Japan cargo craft heads for space station

A essential resupply mission to the Worldwide Space Station bought off to a very good begin with the launch of Japan’s HTV-6 robotic cargo spacecraft at this time.

The bus-sized H-II Switch Car rose into space atop an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Heart in southern Japan at 10:26 p.m. native time (5:26 a.m. PT). A bit of greater than quarter-hour later, HTV-6 efficiently separated from the rocket.

It’ll take 4 days for the 12-ton cargo ship to meet up with the space station in orbit. For the ultimate rendezvous, crew members will use the station’s robotic arm to tug the craft in for berthing on the Concord module’s port.

The HTV craft, also referred to as Kounotori (“White Stork”), is carrying greater than 4.5 tons of provides and gear for the station’s six spacefliers, together with lithium-ion batteries that can exchange the nickel-hydrogen batteries at the moment used to retailer energy generated by the photo voltaic arrays. The brand new batteries will likely be put in throughout a collection of spacewalks subsequent month.

The profitable supply of this cargo is more likely to be notably welcome, coming so quickly after a Russian Progress cargo cargo was lost in a botched launch. SpaceX Dragon shipments have additionally been grounded attributable to a launch-pad mishap in September, though SpaceX plans to return to flight in January.

NASA says the space station is well-stocked, and the crew isn’t going through any shortages regardless of the lack of the Progress.

Protection of the HTV-6’s rendezvous with the space station is because of start on NASA TV at 1:30 a.m. PT Tuesday. As soon as it’s connected, the craft will spend greater than 5 weeks linked to the station, throughout which it’ll be unloaded and repacked with trash. Then it is going to be set free to dissipate throughout atmospheric re-entry.

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