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Japan's 'White Stork' soars heavenwards to ISS

Resupply mission space truck safely off the ground

Japan earlier today successfully launched its Kounotori 5 ("White Stork 5") ISS resupply vehicle from Tanegashima Space Center.

Carrying 5.5 tonnes of scientific equipment and supplies, Kounotori 5 was lifted aloft by an H-IIB rocket in a dramatic night-time fire and smoke spectacle. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has updates on Kounotori 5's progress here.

The ISS resupply mission launches earlier today

As well as the usual dried food and water for the orbiting outpost's crew, the space truck's payload includes the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET), and the impressively-titled Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF).

Once it's disgorged its deliveries, Kounotori 5 will be packed with ISS waste and dispatched to a fiery death in Earth's atmosphere. ®

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