Japan Launching Robotic Cargo Ship to International Space Station

Japan is set to launch a new unmanned cargo spaceship to deliver goods to the International Space Station today July 20.

The robotic spacecraft, called H-2 Transfer Vehicle-3 HTV-3, is the third of its kind to travel to the orbiting laboratory, where six astronauts from three countries are currently living and working.

HTV-3 is due to lift off at 10:06 p.m. EDT 0206 GMT Saturday, or 11:06 a.m. Japan time Saturday from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The spacecraft will fly atop a Japanese H-2B rocket. It is the second launch toward the space station in a week. A Soyuz space capsule launched on late Saturday July 15 to ferry three members of the space stations crew to the orbiting lab.

Japan’s latest spaceship, nicknamed Kounotori 3 “White Stork 3” in Japanese, will take about a week to reach the 240 mile high 386 kilometers space station. It is scheduled to arrive on July 27, when astronauts inside the outpost will reach out and grab the Japanese vessel with the stations Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Read the rest of the story: Japan Launching Robotic Cargo Ship to Space Station Tonight.


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