Launch of Japan Cargo Ship to ISS Put Off for 3rd Time

Science Society Technology

Tanegashima, Kagoshima Pref., Sept. 15 (Jiji Press)--The launch of Japan's Kounotori 7 unmanned cargo spacecraft was postponed on Saturday after it was rescheduled twice, due to a glitch in the H-2B carrier rocket, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. <7011> and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said the same day.

The rocket carrying the vehicle to deliver goods to the International Space Station was initially to be launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, on Tuesday. The past two postponements were due to bad weather conditions.

This was the first launch delay caused by a mechanical problem in any H-2B rocket.

"We're sorry not for launching (the cargo vehicle) as scheduled," Koki Nimura, chief engineer of Mitsubishi Heavy, told a press conference. But he also said the decision to put off the launch prevented the goods delivery mission from failing.

According to Mitsubishi Heavy, a pressure adjustment valve of the liquid oxygen tank for the rocket's second-stage engine worked abnormally during a test in the small hours of Saturday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press