During a rigorous fire at the launch pad, the launch was paused for a while till it settles down. Now again a reset of the launch is being prepared by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for another shot at its HTV-8 mission to deliver supplies and other payloads to International Space Station (ISS). Previously this launch was due on 11th September but got rescheduled due to sudden fire havoc which was then led to few investigations for the same to find out its cause.
The new launch got scheduled to September 24 at 1:30 AM IST. From the investigation updates, it states that the fire that was extinguished resulting in no lasting damage to the rocket on its cargo was caused by the built-up static electricity created by oxygen dripping from the exhaust. During the propellant filling, this exhaust got leaked from the rocket engine.
MHI says that it has taken all the required measures to prevent future mishaps and is now fully cleared, functional and hence, ready for its further re-launch attempt. The H-IIB rocket to be used, having the highest lift capacity of all the M-H series in MHI configuration will carry the mentioned supplies and also a CubeSat launcher with a number of small satellite payloads for various academic and commercial customers.
The H-IIB has featured one central booster and engine with liquid oxygen propellant, and four solid-fuel boosters attached to the base of the rocket for its additional lift. This can carry up to 18,000 lbs to geostationary transfer orbit. This would be their second last mission for the H-IIB and its final mission due on next year.
After that, they will resume their work on the H3, a fully expendable launch vehicle currently under development that would serve more commercial customers specifically.