by Staff Writers
Tokyo (XNA) May 25, 2015
Japan's unmanned cargo spacecraft Kounotori, which delivers supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), may be redesigned to save cost and for multipurpose use.
Auto parts may even be used to save costs in the recast of the cargo transfer craft, local media reported on Thursday.
Remodeling the spacecraft could halve the current 20 billion yen (about 165 million U.S. dollars) manufacturing cost, the Asahi Shimbun quoted the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as saying.
"We will use high-level technologies that can be used for a variety of purposes in the future," the ministry said in January when it adopted its latest measures governing the nation's space program.
The redesigned craft is expected to be launched by 2020.
Japan is scheduled to carry out three cargo missions to the ISS over the next five years. The ministry plans to use the cheaper delivery vehicle in the last of those missions.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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