Japan launched a rocket Thursday carrying a Kounotori unmanned cargo vessel, developed by the national space agency, on its final mission to transport supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).

The H-IIB rocket carrying the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kounotori 9 lifted off at 2:31 a.m. from the remote Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.

Fifteen minutes later, the Kounotori was detached from the rocket and put into a planned orbit. The cargo vessel, which can hold up to 6 tons of supplies, has been launched successfully in all nine of its missions dating back to 2009.