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Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 11:09

Japan's Kounotori 6 cargo spaceship docks with ISS

By Xinhua
Japan's Kounotori 6 cargo spaceship docks with ISS
This photo provided by NASA TV shows a Japanese cargo ship before it arrives with Christmas gifts to the International Space Station on Dec 13, 2016. (NASA TV via AP)

TOKYO -- Japan's unmanned cargo spaceship Kounotori 6 docked with the International Space Station (ISS) early Wednesday, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The spaceship docked at 3:24 am local time (1824 GMT Tuesday) after being caught by a robotic arm controlled by astronauts at the ISS, said the space agency.

The spaceship was launched aboard an H-2B rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Dec 9.

The spaceship, sixth of its kind, carries some 5.9 tons of supplies including food, drinking water and other necessities, as well as seven ultrasmall satellites and some lithium-ion batteries.

After the supplies are unloaded to the ISS, the spaceship will then be loaded with waste materials, including used experiment equipment or used clothes, and then undock.

Before reentering the atmosphere, the Kounotori 6 will also conduct experiments aimed at cleaning space junk.

Developed and built in Japan, the Kounotori spacecraft, also known as H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), has been used to deliver supplies to the ISS. The first mission of the HTV, or Kounotori 1, was launched in 2009.

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