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Japanese spacecraft docks with International Space Station

August 24, 2015, 18:55 UTC+3 TOKYO

The Kounotori unmanned spacecraft docked with the help of Canada’s Canadarm robotized manipulator

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TOKYO, August 24. /TASS/. Japan’s unmanned cargo spacecraft Kounotori has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS). No extraordinary situations were registered during the docking, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency reported on Monday.

The cargo spacecraft docked with the help of Canada’s Canadarm robotized manipulator as the Japanese space vehicle is not equipped with a special system and cannot independently rendezvous with the space station.

The docking operation was carried out by Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui who had come to the ISS in late July as part of an international crew aboard Russia’s Soyuz TMA-17M carrier rocket.

Concluding operations related to the docking are underway at the world’s sole orbiter. The ISS crew will be able to start unloading the Japanese cargo spaceship some time later.

The Kounotori unmanned spacecraft was launched from the Tanegashima space center on August 19. The spacecraft with its order number 5 was presented in mid-July. It is about 10 meters long and has a diameter of 4 meters. The spacecraft has delivered about 5.5 tons of cargo to the space station along with experimental equipment.

Japan has previously launched four such vehicles and all of them have successfully accomplished their mission.

The Kounotori is a single-use vehicle, which delivers necessary supplies to the space station and removes the garbage. It burns in the dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere on its way back.

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