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H-2A launch delayed several days
Posted: Wed, Aug 22, 2001, 10:44 AM ET (1444 GMT)
H-2A illustration (NASDA) The inaugural launch of Japan's H-2A booster has been delayed at least three days to replace a faulty valve. Technicians discovered a problem with an oxygen valve on the booster's second stage several days ago and had the valve flown back to a facility in central Japan for repairs and replacement, but a typhoon has delayed the valve's return. Officials with the Japanese space agency NASDA said the earliest the launch would now take place is August 28, three days later than previously planned. The launch is the first for the H-2A, an upgraded version of the H-2 booster that was retired after two consecutive failures in 1998 and 1999. The H-2A's improvements include more powerful second-stage and solid-propellent strap-on engines and a simplified first-stage engine. The H-2A will carry a test payload.
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