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Photos: Japan Launches 3rd Robotic Supply Ship to Space Station

Japan's H-2B Rocket Launches HTV-3

JAXA

Japan's robotic HTV-3 cargo spaceship launches July 20, 2012 from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The spacecraft is carrying new supplies for the International Space Station.

Japan's H-2B Rocket Launches HTV-3

JAXA

Japan's robotic HTV-3 cargo spaceship launches July 20, 2012 from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The spacecraft is carrying new supplies for the International Space Station.

Japan's H-2B Rocket Launches HTV-3

JAXA

Japan's robotic HTV-3 cargo spaceship launches July 20, 2012 from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The spacecraft is carrying new supplies for the International Space Station.

Inside Japan's Huge Space Truck (Infographic)

Ross Toro, SPACE.com contributor

Japan's H-2 Transfer Vehicles are disposable cargo ships that carry supplies to the International Space Station.

Japan's H-2B Rocket Launches HTV-3

JAXA

Japan's robotic HTV-3 cargo spaceship launches July 20, 2012 from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The spacecraft is carrying new supplies for the International Space Station.

Japan's H-2B Rocket Launches HTV-3

JAXA

Japan's robotic HTV-3 cargo spaceship launches July 20, 2012 from Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan. The spacecraft is carrying new supplies for the International Space Station.

Japan Moves HTV-3 to Launch Pad

JAXA

A Japanese H-2B rocket rolls out to the launch pad at Tanegashima Space Center for the July 20, 2012 launch of JAXA's H-2 Transfer Vehicle 3. The HTV-3 spacecraft is delivering tons of new supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

Japan Moves HTV-3 to Launch Pad

JAXA

A Japanese H-2B rocket rolls out to the launch pad at Tanegashima Space Center for the July 20, 2012 launch of JAXA's H-2 Transfer Vehicle 3. The HTV-3 spacecraft is delivering tons of new supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

Japan Moves HTV-3 to Launch Pad

JAXA

A Japanese H-2B rocket reaches the launch pad at Tanegashima Space Center for the July 20, 2012 launch of JAXA's H-2 Transfer Vehicle 3. The HTV-3 spacecraft is delivering tons of new supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

Japanese H2-B rocket

NASA TV

The robotic HTV-3 cargo spacecraft sits poised on its H-2B rocket at the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan.

Japanese Launch Site

NASA TV

The robotic HTV-3 cargo spacecraft sits poised on its H-2B rocket at the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan.

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Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Kim Hickock as our Reference Editor and Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.