NASA is planning to show the flights of an unpiloted Japanese cargo ship delivering supplies to the International Space Station.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is set to launch an H-IIB rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in the south of the country. It is expected that the mission will see more than four tonnes of food and various supplies delivered.
Delivery is scheduled to take place on January 27th and will involve flight engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli controlling the station’s robotic arm to reach out at grab the Japanese space vehicle and dock it on to the station.
Once the cargo ship has been unloaded, it will be filled with rubbish, released and will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere at some point in March.
The International Space Station celebrated its tenth anniversary of continuous human occupation in November and during that time it has been visited by 196 people from eight different countries.
A Japanese spacecraft that touched down on a space rock during a billion-mile mission successfully returned the first ever samples from the surface of an asteroid, Japan’s space agency said today (Nov. 16).
The samples are in the form of tiny dust grains collected directly from the asteroid Itokawa in 2005 by Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft, which returned to Earth in June. It was a 1.25 billion-mile (2 billion-kilometer) trip that took seven years to complete.
The dust was found inside a sample return capsule that landed in Australia and was flown back to Japan for analysis.