TOKYO (AP) — An unmanned Japanese space capsule is heading to the International Space Station with 5,500 kilograms (12,000 pounds) of cargo including food, experiments and new batteries.
The craft was launched Sunday at 2:52 a.m. from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. It will take four and a half days to reach the space station.
The launch was delayed for about two weeks because of bad weather and a mechanical problem.
The delay has led NASA to postpone two space walks to install the six lithium-ion batteries until new crew members arrive next month. They will replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for the station's electric power.
The capsule is a 9-meter- (30-foot-) long cylinder that will be retrieved by the space station's robotic arm. It is named Kounotori, which means white stork.