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Japan's cargo craft delivers supplies, whiskey to space station

The capsule delivered new scientific experiments and equipment, including a group of mice and several liquor samples.

By Brooks Hays
ISS's robotic arm pulls the resupply craft into its docking port. Photo by NASA TV
ISS's robotic arm pulls the resupply craft into its docking port. Photo by NASA TV

TOKYO, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Japan's cargo ship, H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), successfully attached itself to the International Space Station on Monday, August 24, delivery supplies to ISS crew members.

NASA reported, the cargo craft, sometimes called Kounotori, docked at 10:02 a.m. EST. Astronauts aboard the space station worked together to secure the ship to the Earth-facing port of ISS's Harmony module.

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Kimiya Yui, an astronaut with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), became the first Japanese crew member to helm the space station's robotic arm while receiving a resupply craft.

His efforts were aided by another JAXA astronaut back on Earth. Former ISS crew member, Koichi Wakata, served as lead capsule communicator from the NASA control room in Florida.

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"I'm a small wheel in space development, but I guess I was able to shine like a star of the first magnitude (by succeeding in the docking)," Yui told reporters from space, in the wake of the successful docking.

In addition to supplies, like food and water, the capsule delivered new scientific experiments and equipment, including a group of mice being used to measure the health effects of microgravity.

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A collection of liquor also arrived with the HTV. But astronauts won't get to drink the whiskey, tequila and Midori. Instead, it will be stored on ISS for one to two years before being returned to Earth to see how microgravity aging affects flavor.

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"The HTV-5 will spend five weeks attached to the international outpost, then the cargo vehicle will be filled with trash, detached from the station and sent to burn up in Earth's atmosphere," NASA officials explained in a blog update.

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