Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle

Japan has an automated logistics supply vehicle for the International Space Station, which has been launched today for the first time. It’s composed of pressurised and upressurised areas and will be stopped at 10 m from the ISS. Using the robo hand, astronauts can dock it. It’ll stay there as a kind of larder for a month and then decouple and return to earth. In further versions of the HTV they’ll modify it to carry humans, so there’s a third way to get astronauts up to the ISS, but it can also act as a lifeboat.

Japan hurls first space freighter at ISS • The Register.

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