On January 22, 2011 at 05:37 UTC Japan successfully launched the H-2B rocket-carrier from Launch Pad No. 2 at the Tanegashima Space Center, an island base at the southern tip of Japan.
The rocket orbited HTV-2 unmanned supply spacecraft. Japan is calling the spacecraft Kounotori, which means white stork.
photo by JAXA.
The spacecraft is to deliver about 5300 kilograms of supplies to stock the International Space Station with scientific gear, spare parts and provisions for the lab's six-person crew. The HTV-2 is to approach the ISS on January 27. Astronauts Catherine Coleman and Paolo Nespoli will grapple the spacecraft with the lab's robot arm and attach the ship to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module. It should be firmly bolted to the station a few hours later.