Moscow, Sep 21 : The launch of the Japanese Transfer Vehicle "KOUNOTORI8" to the International Space Station (ISS) had been rescheduled from September 24 to September 25 over a potential collision with the Russian Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft, the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries company said Saturday.
"The following changes will be made based on the results of the latest orbit based analysis (※ 1) of the International Space Station and Soyuz spacecraft. It was revealed there’s a possibility that the 2nd stage of H-IIB rocket after separation from 'KOUNOTORI8' may approach the Soyuz spacecraft," the company said in the statement.
This is the second time the launch of the cargo transporter is rescheduled. Following a blaze at the Tanegashima Space Center, the launch was rescheduled from September 11 to September 24.
The transporter will deliver equipment for experiments, new containers for the water storage system and the NASA system of oxygen refueling, as well as three small satellites NARSSCube-1, AQT-D and RWASAT-1.
The launch of the Russian Soyuz-FG rocket carrying Soyuz MS-15 is scheduled for 13:57 GMT on September 25. The docking is expected at 19:45 GMT. The spacecraft will deliver a three-manned crew, including Oleg Skripochka (Russia), Jessica Meir (USA) and Hazza Al Mansouri, the first ever UAE astronaut. (UNI-SPUTNIK)