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Friday, August 21, 2015

Japan Launches Unmanned Rocket To ISS

On August 19, 2015, the 12-story H-2B rocket called the Kounotori (it means 'white stork') blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center to provide delivery of 4,309 kilograms (9,500 pounds) of supplies to the ISS (International Space Station) and her crew.

Expected to take five days to reach the ISS, the cargo of the unmanned Japanese rocket consists of water, food and some technical gear that will help continue the research onboard, such as spacesuit gear, water filters, a galley and science instruments, such as a telescope that can measure cosmic rays - probably different from the cosmic rays that turned the Fantastic Four into superheroes in the 1960s-era comic book and not the meh 2015 movie.
Moments before blast-off, the Kounotori sits on the launchpad of Japan's Tanegashima Space Center.
Since October of 2014, there have been three missions to resupply the ISS, and all failed, including two U.S. supply ships, operated by Orbital ATK and the privately-owned SpaceX and the Russian Progress freighter were involved.

The ISS is a $100 billion laboratory currently in orbit around the Earth at an altitude of 400 kilometers (250 miles).

Since the rocket is unmanned, Yui Kimiya (surname first - 油井 亀美也 - born in Kawakami, Nagano), a Japanese astronaut who had arrived on the station in July of 2015, will use the station's robotic arm to grab hold of the rocket from its aligned orbit and then anchor it to the station.

Team Rocket is blasting off again,
Andrew Joseph

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