Joshua writes "JAXA, Japan's version of NASA, has scheduled the launch of its new rocket, the H-IIB, for September 11th, 2009. The rocket will be carrying up the first in a series of unmanned supply vessels for the ISS called the HTV. The new Japanese addition to the international space fleet comes as a huge welcome sign to NASA, who has scheduled the space shuttle to retire in 2010. The HTV will be able to transport vital supplies, equipment, and experiments to the ISS, a job that the US space shuttle has been doing largely up until now. Yearly launches for the H-II2 and HTV are scheduled between now and 2015. Until NASA can finish the next generation Ares I rocket, which isn't likely to be finished before 2017, taking astronauts into space and to the ISS will likely become the job of Russia."
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