Japanese mission to clear up space junk ends in failure
Japan’s space agency, JAXA, has confirmed the failure of a mission intended to test technology for clearing up debris in space. The Kounotori 6 cargo transporter returned to Earth and burned up in the atmosphere on Monday, officials said. Though the experimental segment of the mission was a failure, Kounotori did successfully deliver supplies to the International Space Station after launching in December. Kounotori 6 carried a 700-meter (2,296-foot) metal tether that was designed to slow down space junk and bring it back to Earth with electromagnetic force.