• Kyodo

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Japan will launch an unmanned cargo ship into space on Oct. 1 to take supplies to the International Space Station, the science ministry said.

An H-IIB rocket carrying the Konotori 6 cargo transporter is scheduled to blast off at 2:16 a.m. from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, the ministry said Tuesday. One its main missions will be to deliver lithium-ion batteries to the ISS.

The batteries, made by GS Yuasa International Ltd., a unit of GS Yuasa Corp., have been selected to be the common power source for the ISS, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi, 40, is staying aboard the ISS until late October, but it is not known if he will be involved in the operation using its robotic arm to dock the cargo ship.

After leaving the ISS, Konotori will release an experimental device designed to remove space debris.

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