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Launchpad Fire Forces Japan to Postpone Cargo Ship Launch to Space Station: Report

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 Japan referred to as off a planned cargo ship launch to the Worldwide House Station right this moment (Sept. 10) after a fireplace erupted on the launch platform for the mission’s rocket, in accordance with press experiences. 

“In the present day’s launch is postponed as a result of we discovered a fireplace across the gap on the deck of the cell launcher at three:05 a.m. JST (2:05 p.m. EDT/1805 GMT). Now we try to extinguish a fireplace,” representatives with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the rocket’s builder, said in a Twitter status update

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Company (JAXA) was counting down towards the launch of an HTV-Eight cargo ship atop an H-IIB rocket when the launchpad fireplace occurred on the Tanegashima House Heart, in accordance with Aviation Week area editor Irene Klotz, who posted live updates from the launch site on Twitter.  The fireplace burned for about two hours earlier than it was extinguished, and no accidents had been reported, Klotz stated.

The reason for the hearth, and whether or not it induced any harm to the H-IIB rocket, have but to be decided, Klotz added.

Ray Iechika Takaku, a spokesperson for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, instructed reporters on website that the corporate has by no means seen a launchpad fireplace throughout H-IIB launches, Klotz reported on Twitter. The fireplace started after fueling for the launch was full, she added

Video: How Japan’s HTV Cargo Ships Work
Japan’s HTV Space Truck Explained (Infographic)

Japan has an unbroken file of success for its H-IIB rockets. The final spacecraft was despatched aloft in September 2018. Thus far, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has launched seven HTV missions since 2009. In the present day’s launch would have lifted off on the 10th anniversary of that first HTV flight.

HTV-Eight is carrying greater than four tons of provides for the Worldwide House Station, together with six lithium-ion batteries and a prototype Sony laser-communications system to the ISS, and right this moment can be the 10th anniversary of its first launch to the area station. NASA astronauts will set up the batteries on the P6 photo voltaic array module in a spacewalk later this 12 months to interchange the getting older ones already there, NASA officers have stated.

NASA officers stated the area station’s present six-person Expedition 60 crew is in good well being and in no hazard of working out of meals or different very important provides.

“The astronauts are protected aboard the station and nicely provided,” NASA officials said in a statement.

Photographs: Japan’s Robotic Space Cargo Ship Fleet

The Sony system will likely be deployed to check future communications between satellites or with floor stations, utilizing ultra-fast laser communications, in accordance with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Company or JAXA. (Spacecraft right this moment typically depend on radio, which has a extra restricted bandwidth to ship data.)

“We now have very excessive expectations for this expertise,” ISS astronaut Koichi Wakata, who’s now a vice-president at JAXA, JAXA said in a statement. “This expertise … will doubtless be extensively used not solely within the telecommunications trade, however sooner or later as a way of communication within the discipline of exploration. Particularly, it may be used as a way of communication between the Earth and the Worldwide House Station, the moon and Mars.”

Editor’s observe: This story was up to date at 6:12 p.m. EDT (1212 GMT) to incorporate updates from a post-fire press convention by Aviation Week Space Editor Irene Klotz via Twitter and official statements from MHI and NASA. It was corrected earlier to mirror that solely Japan’s H-IIB rocket has an ideal launch file. The nation’s workhorse H-IIA rocket has had one failure in 40 launches. 

This can be a growing story. Test again quickly for updates.

Comply with Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook

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