Japan’s H2B Rocket Takes To ISS With Experiments, Batteries

Japan’s H2B Rocket Takes To ISS With Experiments, Batteries

On Tuesday, Japan has launched a J-2B rocket from the Launch Pad 2 of the Tanegashima Space Center with a cargo freighter abroad. The freighter carried with it, over 4.1 tons batteries, various types of experiment and spacewalk equipment, water as well as other necessary supplies for crews of the Internal Space Station (ISS).

The 186 ft tall H-2B rocket went through a seamless launch sequence during the liftoff at 1.05 A.M (1605:05 hrs GMT), thanks to the liquid hydrogen and oxygen propellants and a couple of liquid-fueled LE-7A main engines that started at T minus 5.2 seconds.

After going through the customary computer-controlled health check, the H-2B rocket fired the four strap-on solid rocket boosters to lift off with over 2 million pound thrust two weeks after a previous attempt of liftoff was thwarted by a fire on the launch pad.

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At that time, the Japanese engineers had called off the launch on Sept 10 following the mishap and the launch vehicle was taken back to the assembly building by the ground crews for further inspections. An investigation by the officials revealed that the fire was in all probability triggered off by static electricity and highly concentrated oxygen dripping from the main engines of the rocket during the countdown.

Engineers were able to take unspecific corrective measures after the investigation and were able to return the launch vehicle to the launch pad half a day before the second countdown and eventually successful liftoff.

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This time the lift of passed by successfully, without any hiccup whatsoever, and the H-2B rocket took the prescheduled path, to turn to the southeast and climbed up to its intended orbit over the Pacific Ocean. The launch window was so adjusted to allow the eighth H-2 Transfer vehicle of Japan to get into the orbit that is aligned with the ISS’s orbital plane, setting a perfect stage for seamless laser-guided docking.