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Cargo spaceships dock at the space station



An unmanned Japanese freighter spacecraft has docked at the International Space Station.

Kounotori 8 was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on September 25th.

After approaching a space station in orbit at an altitude of about 400 kilometers, a cargo spacecraft was captured by the hand of an astronaut-controlled robot. The docking took place shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday in Japan.

About 40 employees were in the control room of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, in Tsukuba city of Ibaraki Prefecture.

They transmitted Kunotori data to the US space agency NASA and applauded when the cargo spacecraft was caught on the robot arm.

Kounotori 8 is 1

0 meters long and 4.4 meters in diameter. Its cargo of about 5.3 tons includes water and food for astronauts residing on the ISS, as well as batteries for power and satellite-developed satellites.

The first Cunotors were released 10 years ago. This is the eighth consecutive unmanned cargo delivery to the International Space Station.

Hirohiko Uematsu, director of JVXA's HTV Technology Center, stated that dental problems created difficulties in operating a cargo spacecraft 10 years ago, but the experience has led to major improvements.

He added that the center staff is developing a successor to the Kounotori spacecraft and believes they now have the knowledge base to make it successful.


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