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Final H-2B rocket launch sends Japanese supply ship toward space station

Posted On: 21 May 2020   |   Posted By: Spaceflight Now

Final H-2B rocket launch sends Japanese supply ship toward space station

A 186-foot-tall H-2B rocket fires into the sky from Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. Credit: JAXA
The ninth and final flight of Japan's H-2B rocket - the country's most powerful launcher - drove an automated cargo freighter into orbit Wednesday on a five-day pursuit of the International Space Station.
The 186-foot-tall launcher lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 1731 GMT Wednesday, sending an HTV supply ship into space with 2.5 million pounds of thrust from four solid rocket boosters and two hydrogen-fueled core engines.
Wednesday's launch was the last in a series of nine H-2B rockets, and also marked the ninth and final flight of Japan's current-generation barrel-shaped HTV cargo carriers. Japan is developing a more capable supply freighter named the HTV-X, which will deliver heavier payloads to the space station.
The HTV-X is scheduled for its first flight to the space station in 2022, and it's designed to eventually fly supplies to...

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