back to article Oops: Rockets lighting their tails is a good thing – but not three-plus hours before lift-off

The launch of a cargo spacecraft packed with supplies for the International Space Station was cancelled after a fire erupted on or near the launch pad at Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on Tuesday. JAXA_HII_fire Here's a slightly blurry still taken from the live video of the launch. The plan was to blast the H-II Transfer …

  1. bazza Silver badge

    Seemingly Extinguished?

    I don't know if it was fuelled or not at the time, but it seems with rockets that extinguishing anything (other than just letting it blow itself to smitereens) is difficult, not easy. Kudos to whomever designed that fire-fighting system (pint of Kirin Ichiban --->)

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Seemingly Extinguished?

      Spaceflight Now reports that the rocket was fully fuelled at the time but no propellant leak was detected.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Meanwhile at a fire station somewhere in Japan

      We're asking for volunteers. We've got an outbreak of fire on a fully fuelled rocket. We'd like someone to poke their head around inside it, and tell us if it's still burning?

      What nobody? Rockets are exciting you know! Doesn't anyone want to get a close look at one?

      What do you mean you've all got a note from your mothers?

  2. Kabukiwookie

    El Reg is slipping

    No joke in the header about the rocket prematurely firing its hot load?

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "there are still plenty of supplies on the space station"

    Good for them, but if the rocket explodes, there had better be another one that is almost ready to go because otherwise, those supplies stand a chance of greatly diminishing.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: "there are still plenty of supplies on the space station"

      There's loads of cargo providers. SpaceX and Cygnus under NASA's COTS program - SpaceX and Boeing are about to test their vehicles for astronauts (under a different COTS program). The ESA and Japan both have unmanned cargo vehicles. And the Russians have Progress, which I think shares lots of parts with Soyuz but doesn't carry cosmonauts (only the dinner) and is also unmanned.

  4. Blockchain commentard

    Well someone's going to get a rocket up their arse for this !!!

  5. Alister
    Thumb Up

    nicely judged use of deflagration

  6. BaconEatingMachine

    It's no rapid unscheduled disassembly

  7. hplasm

    Fire in the hole!

    Finally, it does mean what it says!

  8. Chris G


    "What now? It's a bit early"

    " No! Fire!"

    "I already said, ' It's too early".


  9. 0laf


    Never return to a lit firework

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Danger

      I'd rather approach a lit firework than a fully fuelled rocket that's on fire.

  10. KarMann Silver badge

    lp0 is go for launch

    Let's hope they never name a rocket launch lp0.

  11. Bite my finger

    All steel construction

    > "...we found a fire around the hole at the deck of the mobile launcher..."

    It sounds like something apart from the rocket caught on fire somehow. Yet it's to be assumed that the launcher's exposed parts will feature nothing flammable which could burn during a launch. That leaves either a straight up engine fire within the mobile launcher itself, or some sort of fuel leak associated with the rocket above.

    Let's hope it was only a burning diesel engine and not some unruly fuel lines.

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