Japan GPS satellite launch postponed due to glitch

A H-IIA rocket, carrying a Michibiki 2 satellite, one of four satellites that will augment regional navigational systems, lifts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the southwestern island of Tanegashima, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo June 1, 2017. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
Japan on Saturday postponed the planned launch of an H-2A rocket tasked to put a geo-positioning satellite into orbit due to possible helium gas leakage, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) said, as cited by Reuters.

MHI, commissioned by the government to carry the satellite into space, postponed Saturday’s launch after detecting a decline in pressure levels inside a tank containing helium gas, which is used to operate valves for cooling rocket engines.

The company is looking into what specifically caused the pressure decline, and the rocket is now likely to be launched as early as Aug. 17, a MHI spokesman said.