White Stork mates with ISS, delivers bundles of resupply joy

Japan's space truck arrives at orbiting outpost

White Stork mates with the ISS. Pic: NASA TV

Japan's space truck Kounotori 5 ("White Stork 5") today successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), bearing 4.5 tonnes of scientific kit and supplies.

White Stork captured by the ISS's Canadarm2. Pic Scott Kelly

White Stork captured by the ISS's Canadarm2. Pic: Scott Kelly/Twitter

ISS Expedition 44 flight engineer Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) used the Canadarm2 robotic limb to grapple Kounotori and mate it with the station's Harmony module.

The ISS resupply mission launches last week

White Stork blasts off last week. Pic: JAXA

White Stork 5 launched on 19 August from Tanegashima Space Center atop a H-IIB rocket. Its science payload includes the the CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET), and the Electrostatic Levitation Furnace (ELF). It's also packing water and dried food for the six crew members currently aboard the ISS, who'll open the doors tomorrow and start unloading.

Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are on a "One Year Mission" aloft. They launched on 27 March this year from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and are expected to return to terra firma in March 2016. ®

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