credit: JAXA /caption: the H-IIB rocket first stage test delay does not bode well for the mid-2009 HTV launch
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has postponed what it calls its “First Captive Firing Test of the First Stage Flight Model Tank for the H-IIB Launch Vehicle”. The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) built H-IIB differs from the operational MHI H-IIA because it has two-engines instead of one for its first stage. JAXA says
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries performed a cryogenic inspection for the first captive firing test (setting the X-time or firing time at 11:30 a.m.) on March 27, 2009 (all times and dates are Japan Standard Time) at the Tanegashima Space Center. After reviewing the data acquired through the inspection, we confirmed that the cryogenic inspection went well except that an abnormal phenomenon in the coolant supply occurred during the automatic countdown sequence of the inspection. We immediately studied the situation and carried out all possible corrective measures against the abnormality; however, we found it was difficult to timely restore the normal operation. Therefore, we decided to postpone the captive firing test that was scheduled to take place after the cryogenic inspection. We will investigate the cause and take appropriate measures. The new test date will be announced as soon as it is determined.
What JAXA means by abnormal phenomenon in its coolant supply is that the coolant is supposed to “pour and sprinkle” to protecting facilities and the surrounding area when the engine is fired did during the test it did not “pour and sprinkle”