On the ground, 52-year-old astronaut Koichi Wakata supported the work from a control room of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration by communicating with Yui, making it the first docking operation carried out under the collaboration of Japanese.
The Kounotori from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will deliver more than 9,500 pounds of research and supplies for the six-person station crew.
A robotic Japanese cargo ship pulled up to the worldwide Space Station early Monday, completing a five-day journey to deliver essential supplies and equipment to the astronauts aboard. The robotic arm was piloted by Japan’s Kimiya Yui and NASA’s Kjell Lindgren. Not only can you filter the list to your location (it asks for your country, state and city), but you can also sign up to get email or text alerts right before it appears in the sky, if you really want to be on top of your game. Kounotori means “white stork” or the purveyor of joyful things in Japanese.
The ship is carrying nearly five tons of supplies and science gear, including materials for several idiosyncratic experiments.
A small cache of whiskey, tequila and Midori, which are being sent to see how microgravity affects the “mellowness” of their tastes after one or two years in space.
A tiny crew of 12 mice, which are part of an experiment studying the effects of weightlessness during long space missions.
The 1,400-pound CALorimetric Electron Telescope (CALET), to be used for a mission that will search for signatures of dark matter and analyze cosmic rays. Once the HTV-5 mission is complete, the vehicle will be detached from the station and travel to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.