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article imageJapanese HTV3 space freighter lifts off for ISS

By Anne Sewell     Jul 21, 2012 in Science
The unmanned Japanese HTV3 space freighter lifted off today and is heading for the International Space Station with supplies.
The third, unmanned Kounotori HTV spacecraft was launched today from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan.
Its mission is to deliver a 4.6-ton cargo of clothing, fresh food and equipment to the International Space Station.
The space freighter is due to arrive at the International Space Station on July 27.
Interior of HTV space freighter
Interior of HTV space freighter
The Kounotori spacecraft (named for "White Stork" in Japanese) was built for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The spacecraft is cylindrical and was launched on Japan's expendable H-2B rocket. An image of the detailed plan of the spacecraft can be viewed here.
Thrusters of the HTV space freighter.
Thrusters of the HTV space freighter.
At the end of its mission, the cargo ship is intentionally destroyed by burning up as it enters the Earth's atmosphere.
The first HTV cargo ship was launched by JAXA in 2009, with a second following in 2011, and the third on its way to the International Space Station right now.
More about International Space Station, Iss, Japan, Japanese, space freighter
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