WAILEA, Hawaii — The launch of a Japanese cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station has been rescheduled for Sept. 23 after a launch pad fire scrubbed the original launch attempt earlier this month.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), which operates the H-2 rocket, said Sept. 20 that the H-2B launch of the H-2 Transfer Vehicle (HTV) 8 cargo spacecraft, also known as Kounotori 8, was scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Eastern Sept. 23, or 1:30 a.m. Sept. 24 local time at the Tanegashima Space Center.
The launch was originally scheduled for Sept. 10, but postponed several hours before launch after a fire broke out on the launch platform. MHI said in the statement that there was a “high possibility” that the fire was triggered by static electricity from liquid hydrogen dripping from the vehicle’s rocket engine during propellant loading onto heat-resistant material on the launch platform’s exhaust port. The company didn’t state what caused that liquid oxygen to leak.
“We have taken corrective measures and have confirmed normal functioning of the rocket and facility,” the company said in its statement.
The HTV is carrying 5.4 metric tons of cargo, 3.5 tons of which in the pressurized part of the spacecraft in ...