Japan Successfully Launches H-2B Rocket

Science Society Technology

Tanegashima, Kagoshima Pref., Sept. 25 (Jiji Press)--An H-2B rocket was successfully launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, in the small hours of Wednesday.

The H-2B Launch Vehicle No. 8 blasted off at 1:05 a.m. (4:05 p.m. Tuesday GMT), carrying the Kounotori 8 unmanned cargo spacecraft. Kounotori 8 entered the planned orbit about 15 minutes later.

The liftoff, initially planned for Sept. 11, was postponed due to a fire at the launchpad.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. <7011>, which manages the launch operation, took preventive measures based on its finding that the fire was caused by static electricity after liquid oxygen leaked from the rocket engine dripped onto heat-resistant material on the launchpad.

Kounotori 8 carries fresh food for astronauts in the International Space Station along with experimental apparatus and batteries. The total supplies weigh 5.3 tons.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press