Japanese cargo craft docks with ISS

July 27, 2012 at 6:31 PM
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HOUSTON, July 27 (UPI) -- A robotic Japanese spaceship safely docked with the International Space Station carrying food, equipment and experiments, controllers said.

The unmanned H-2 Transfer Vehicle-3 , also called Kounotori 3 (Japanese for "White Stork"), was secured at 8:23 a.m. ET Friday by the space station's 58-foot long robotic arm and moved to a docking port at 10:34 a.m. ET, MSNBC reported.

"I think we couldn't have had a better day and we're looking forward to a great HTV mission," Mission Control in Houston told the crew of the ISS.

The docking follows an unsuccessful attempt at re-docking Monday by an unmanned Russian Progress spacecraft. The Progress 47 vehicle, which had already been at the space station, was undocked to test the new docking system.

When the re-docking failed the Progress 47 was moved a safe distance from the ISS and Russian space officials said another attempt would be made Sunday.

The Japanese HTV-3 is carrying 4 tons of cargo, including packages with food, clothing and other items for the space station's crew, and is delivering two student-designed experiments to be performed aboard the ISS.

The six astronauts on the ISS are from the United States, Russia and Japan.

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