• Jiji


Japan’s Kounotori 9 unmanned cargo spacecraft successfully docked to the International Space Station at 3:25 a.m. Tuesday.

A hatch leading to the ISS was opened about an hour later, and ISS astronauts entered the cargo spacecraft.

The Kounotori 9, carrying 6.2 tons of supplies including Japanese lithium-ion batteries, was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Kagoshima Prefecture on Thursday.

All nine Kounotori vehicles have successfully delivered supplies to the ISS since the series made its debut in 2009.

The ninth unit is the last Kounotori vehicle. Its successor, HTV-X, will be launched in fiscal 2021.