Agence France-Presse 12. September 2019 09:54:53 IST
A fire before dawn forced the Japanese space agency to cancel the launch of an unnamed rocket that was to carry deliveries to International Space Station, the operator said.
The fire started near the launch pad on the southern island of Tanegashima at around 3:05 pm (6:05 pm GMT on Tuesday) when Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) launched Kounotori8 on a H-boat prepared for the cargo launch of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. 2B rocket, said in a statement by MHI.
The operator investigates the cause of the fire and checks whether the rocket and the surrounding facilities are damaged.
Th e Kounotori8, which means "white stork" in Japanese, was supposed to provide astronauts on the ISS with about 5.3 tons of supplies, including fresh food and water, as well as batteries and equipment needed for experiments.
The Japanese space agency JAXA promotes the Kounotori8 as "the largest transport space ship in the world" in a commercial on its website.
A JAXA official told an early morning press conference that there is no deadline for transportation of supplies to the ISS and the next launch plan is set. In collaboration with international partners, the public broadcaster NHK reported.
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