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Japan successfully launches rocket carrying cargo vessel for ISS

TANEGASHIMA, Kagoshima (Kyodo) -- Japan's H-2B rocket successfully launched the Kounotori7 unmanned cargo vessel into orbit early Sunday to deliver supplies to the International Space Station, the Japanese space agency said.

The rocket lifted off at 2:52 a.m. from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, with batteries, food and scientific experiment supplies loaded in the cargo transporter.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. had repeatedly suspended the launch plan since Sept. 11 due to bad weather and equipment trouble. A rescheduled launch on Sept. 15 was delayed after an abnormality in a fuel tank safety valve was discovered.

The cargo ship is also delivering a small re-entry capsule for bringing back experiment samples from the space station.

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