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.
A robotic Japanese cargo ship made a special delivery to the worldwide Space Station on Sunday, ending a four-day trek to ferry tons of food and supplies – including some mice and (experimental) liquor – to the orbiting lab. Astronauts aboard the space station worked together to secure the ship to the Earth-facing port of ISS’s Harmony module. “Thank you all for your support and hard work”.
JAXA’s HTV spacecrafts are known as “Kounotori“, or “White Storks”, in Japan, but they’re not exactly bringing babies. The HTV-5 spacecraft carryied about 9,500 pounds of supplies and science equipment for the space station team. But astronauts won’t get to drink the whiskey, tequila and Midori.
The beverages were sent to the space laboratory to research how conditions in orbit might influence their chemical profile and especially their alcohol content. Yet another batch remained on Earth and will serve as a control.
The cargo also includes twelve mice, who will take part in a study of the physiological effects of long-term weightlessness. The unpressurized compartment will deliver the 1,400-pound CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET) investigation, an astrophysics mission that will search for signatures of dark matter and provide the highest energy direct measurements of the cosmic ray electron spectrum.
Like its name suggests, HTV-5 is the fifth Japanese HTV spacecraft to ferry supplies to the space station.
The H-II Transport Vehicle (HTV)-5 is scheduled to remain attached to the worldwide Space Station for about five weeks. Read the original story here.