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Friday, 11th September 2009
In Japan Travel News,

Japan launches cargo spaceship

Japan launched its new cargo spaceship yesterday (September 10th) at 02:01 am local time, it has been announced by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The unmanned craft is now on its way to the International Space Station stocked with 4.5 tonnes of equipment, including freeze-dried bread and soap.

It will drop the supplies at the Japanese Kibo laboratory on the space station, which is currently stationed 250 miles above the Earth.

The H-2B rocket is an upgrade of the previous H-2A craft and is expected to arrive at the International Space Station on September 17th.

In total, it cost $20 billion yen to construct but will not be returning to Earth after its mission - instead it will separate from the launch craft and burn up as it enters the atmosphere on its return journey.

As part of its ongoing space programme, Japan is set to launch a further six rockets between now and 2015.

Written by Mike Cotgreave.