Japanese cargo-carrying spacecraft docks with space station

Aug. 9, 2013 at 7:55 PM

GREENBELT, Md., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A Japanese cargo craft with 3.6 tons of science experiments, equipment and supplies docked with the International Space Station Friday, NASA says.

Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Chris Cassidy initially grappled the unmanned HTV-4 craft with the Canadian Space Agency-provided arm at 7:22 a.m. EDT, with final docking on the space station's Harmony mode occurring at 11:38 a.m. EDT, the space agency said.

The Japanese spacecraft, also known as Kounotori, Japanese for "white stork" because it is emblematic of an important delivery, is 33 feet long and 13 feet in diameter.

It launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on Aug.3 at 3:48 p.m. EDT.

On Saturday the crew is scheduled to open to hatches to begin the process of removing the supplies from the Kounotori's pressurized logistics carrier.

The cargo craft will remain docked with the ISS until early September when, filled with station trash, it will be detached from the station and sent to burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

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