Japan's spacecraft Kounotori 6 has embarked on a week-long mission to test new technology for removing space debris.
The cargo transport was detached from the International Space Station with a robot arm early Saturday, Japan time, and resumed its solo flight.
Metal wires are to be extended about 700 meters into space and electric currents will be sent through them. It's a test of whether the Earth's magnetic field can be used to slow space debris enough so that it will fall into the atmosphere and burn.
Japan's space agency hopes to put the technology into practical use by the mid-2020s.
Space debris, such as used rockets and satellites, travels at fast speeds and is a great threat to operating satellites and the space station.
Developing technology that can resolve the problem has become a serious task in order to safely promote the development of space in the future.
The Kounotori 6 arrived at the space station last month, carrying 6 tons of supplies including Japanese-made lithium-ion battery cells and food for the astronauts.