Japan's Kounotori Cargo Spacecraft Successfully Launched

Science Society Technology

Tanegashima, Kagoshima Pref., May 21 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese H-2B rocket successfully lifted off carrying the Kounotori 9 unmanned cargo spacecraft from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, in the small hours of Thursday.

The cargo ship separated from the rocket about 15 minutes after the launch by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. <7011> at 2:31 a.m. (5:31 p.m. Wednesday GMT).

The launch involved the final models of the H-2B rocket and the Kounotori after their debut in 2009. All nine H-2B rocket launches carrying Kounotori vehicles were successful.

Accumulated technologies will be utilized for the HTV-X successor cargo spacecraft currently under development by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA. An H-3 rocket carrying the first HTV-X is expected to be launched in fiscal 2021.

The Kounotori 9 will deliver such supplies as water and food to the International Space Station, while carrying Japan-made large lithium ion batteries for electricity supply to the ISS.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press