, August 4, 2013
A H-2B rocket carrying cargo for the International Space Station blasts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the Japanese southwestern island of Tanegashima, about 1,000km (621 miles) southwest of Tokyo, in this photo taken by Kyodo early on August 4.
The rocket, also known as "Kounotori," which means stork, is carrying a small robot that will help Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata conduct experiments in space. Wakata will join the Space Station later this year. Picture taken with a fish-eye lens and four-minute exposure time. - Reuters/Kyodo