Japanese space mission ends in flames

Packed with garbage from the International Space Station, the first HTV cargo freighter met a fiery demise over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, punctuating an historic chapter in the Japanese space program.

The 33-foot-long cylindrical spaceship barreled into the upper atmosphere around 2126 GMT (4:26 p.m. EST) over the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of New Zealand, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

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Related: Japanese freighter makes re-entry

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