The International Space Station's robotic arm reaches out to capture the Japanese HTV cargo ship in an artist's rendering. The tricky cosmic catch, slated to happen on September 17, 2009, might affect the orbiting outpost's ultimate lifespan by offering a cheaper way of delivering supplies to space, experts say. Due to budget concerns, the space station is currently slated to be deorbited in 2015. Picture courtesy Canadian Space Agency
From National Geographic:
For the first time, a robotic arm attached to the International Space Station (ISS) will capture an unmanned spaceship for docking on Thursday.
The bus-size Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle, or HTV, was launched on its maiden flight September 10. The remote-control ship is carrying more than four tons of equipment, food, clothes, and other essentials for the six astronauts currently aboard the space station.
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