Photo/IllutrationA capsule collected on Nov. 11 in the sea about 660 kilometers south-southeast of Minami-Torishima island (Provided by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on Nov. 11 successfully retrieved a capsule that was jettisoned from a Japanese unmanned cargo spacecraft and landed in the Pacific Ocean.

It marked the first time that Japan successfully collected specimens of scientific experiments from the International Space Station (ISS), JAXA said.

According to JAXA, the capsule was released at an altitude of 300 kilometers at around 6:20 a.m. on Nov. 11 from the cargo spacecraft Kounotori 7, which had separated from the ISS on Nov. 8.

After the release, the capsule entered the atmosphere about 100 km above the Japanese archipelago while maintaining its orientation. Then, it parachuted down, landing in the sea at around 7:05 a.m.

A ship that had been waiting for the splashdown collected the capsule in the sea off Minami-Torishima island of the Ogasawara group of islands at around 10:30 a.m.

The circular cone-shaped capsule is 84 centimeter in diameter and 66 cm in height and weighs about 180 kilograms.

The vacuum stainless container can maintain its interior at a temperature of four degrees for long periods even if its outer part is exposed to high temperatures of up to about 2,000 degrees during re-entry.

It contains about one kilogram of specimens, including proteins crystallized in the ISS.