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Monday, 2nd November 2009
In Events In Japan,

Japanese space vehicle re-enters atmosphere

A Japanese space freighter has re-entered the atmosphere after travelling to the International Space Station on a mission to deliver supplies and food.

In total, the H-II Transfer Vehicle took 4.5 tonnes of supplies including scientific equipment, laptops, clothing, water and food to the station and then was sent back to Earth filled with rubbish from the platform.

The vessel entered the Earth's atmosphere on Sunday (November 1st), at around 21:26 GMT, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

"Most of the vehicle components are expected to be destroyed and burned out encountering the aerodynamic heating during the re-entry, but some of the debris is estimated to survive and fall into the South Pacific Ocean," said the agency.

One or two H-II Transfer Vehicles a year are set to be sent up to the International Space Station, it said.

The vessels are 9.8 metres long and can carry up to six tonnes of freight.

Written by Kimberley Homer.