Reminiscent of a classic Chris Foss cover
or an outtake from 2001: A Space Odyssey
, this is an artist's impression of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's new uncrewed supply ship, the H-II transfer vehicle, approaching the International Space Station. The HTV is to be the payload of the first of Japan's new heavy-lifting rocket, due to be launched this month. And Japan isn't the only player in the ISS supply business - see New Scientist
for more details.
(The ISS really is a big beast - to give you an idea of scale, the HTV is 10 meters long, and the Soyuz spacecraft (the station's lifeboat) docked at bottom left is about the same size. Cost aside, it really seems like a dumb idea to shut it down in 2015-16.)