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TOKYO: A Japanese H-IIB rocket blasted off today to deliver an unmanned supplies vessel to the International Space Station.
The rocket lifted off into an overcast sky from the southern island of Tanegashima on schedule at 11.06 am (0206 GMT), according to live images relayed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
About 15 minutes later, the rocket released a cargo vessel called “konotori” (stork in Japanese), containing supplies such as food, clothing and tools necessary for experiments to be done in space.
JAXA officials declared the launch a success and were scheduled to address the media later.
The cargo should reach the International Space Station, where Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide is staying, on July 27. -- AFP