23 Jan 2011

Japanese rocket blasts off on cargo mission

7:47 am on 23 January 2011

A Japanese rocket has blasted off on a mission to deliver more than five tonnes of supplies to the International Space Station.

Japan's space agency says the rocket is ferrying cargo including food, water and experimental tools for astronauts.

It took off on schedule from the Tanegashima space centre in southern Japan on Saturday, having been delayed from a planned launch on Thursday because of bad weather.

The rocket will drop off its cargo at the ISS, which it is expected to reach on Thursday, then then load up with waste material before burning itself up on re-entering the earth's atmosphere.