National / Science & Health

JAXA launch of ISS supply ship delayed again, this time by equipment flaw


A rocket launch to resupply the International Space Station was delayed again on Saturday by a “serious” equipment problem, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said.

“We faced a rather serious issue,” Koki Nimura, senior chief engineer at MHI, which developed the rocket, told a news conference.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was scheduled to launch the H-IIB rocket with the Kounotori7 cargo ship from Tanegashima Space Center, Kagoshima Prefecture, early in the morning following a delay on Tuesday caused by bad weather.

The decision follows a problem in the valve used to adjust pressure in a fuel tank. It may take more than a week to fix the flaw, JAXA said.

The cargo ship will carry food and other necessities to the ISS. The delay will not immediately affect the space station, JAXA said.