Japan's cargo ship arrives at ISS: whiskey, mice and more aboard

After four days, Japan's cargo ship has safely arrived at the International Space Station. The delivery was made by the H-II Transfer vehicle (HTV-5), and it brings with it, among other things, that whiskey we talked about earlier this month. Says NASA, the delivery was comprised of nearly 9500 lbs of experiments and supplies; it arrived at 6:55AM EDT after having been launched by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on August 19. The cargo vehicle was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center via the nation's H-IIB rocket.

The cargo ship's arrival and capture is shown — alongside official commentary — in NASA's video below. HTV-5 was nabbed via an extending robotic arm that essentially reached out and grabbed the vehicle, after which it very slowly made its way to the related docking port on the ISS. The robotic arm was piloted by Japan's Kimiya Yui and NASA's Kjell Lindgren.

The cargo spans a wide array of items. There's the whiskey that will, like past experiments, be used to monitor aging in space, as well as Midori and tequila. A dozen mice were included on the flight for studying how weightlessness over long periods in space affects a living organism. Items needed for NASA's long-running twins study, which will compare the effects of space on astronaut Scott Kelly in relation to his twin Mark Kelly, who remains on Earth, were also included.

In addition, the vehicle brought a CALorimetric Electron Telescope, according to Space, for studying dark matter and cosmic rays, a bunch of small satellites for observing Earth, and a NanoRacks External Platform which will be attached to Japan's Kibo module for future experiments.