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Japan’s most recent cargo freighter to ISS, after undocking and beginning its de-orbit maneuvers, released a small recoverable capsule that was successfully recovered on Earth.
A capsule ejected from a space cargo vessel returned to Earth on Sunday, bringing back experiment samples from the International Space Station (ISS) in the first such mission for Japan.
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said the capsule, measuring 84 wide and 66 cm high, made a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific near the island of Minamitorishima early in the morning and was retrieved later in the day.
“I think we’ve succeeded almost as planned,” Hirohiko Uematsu, technology director of JAXA, told a press conference at the agency’s Tsukuba Space Center in Ibaraki Prefecture.
The last quote above suggests that the recovery was not entirely successful, but no details were provided. Regardless, this gives the users of ISS a second way to bring experiments back from the station, with SpaceX’s Dragon the first.