The Japanese space freighter H-II transfer vehicle (HTV) has returned to earth after successfully undocking from the International Space Station (ISS).

The unmanned spacecraft delivered supplies and instruments weighing up to 6,000kg to the space station.

The HTV, along with Russia’s Progress spacecraft, the US Space Shuttle and the automated transfer vehicle (ATV), will be utilised for delivering cargo to the ISS.

HTV is the only unmanned vehicle among the other cargo-carrying spacecraft that can carry both pressurised and unpressurised cargo.

The demonstration flight vehicle returned with 1.6t of trash, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The vehicle was unberthed from the station with the aid of ISS’s Canandarm2, a robotic arm that grappled the 16.5t cargo ship and released it away from the station.

The Japanese spacecraft was launched into space in September 2009.

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