H-2A rolls out to launch pad

Japan’s H-2A rocket rolled out to Launch Pad No. 1 at Tanegashima Space Center’s Yoshinobu launch complex early Tuesday, local time, to begin final flight preparations ahead of liftoff with an advanced weather satellite.

The 174-foot-tall rocket, fitted with two solid rocket boosters, emerged from the Vehicle Assembly Building on a mobile platform for the half-hour rollout on rails to the launch pad, where it arrived around 2 a.m. Japan Standard Time.

The rocket and its payload were integrated together inside the assembly building over the last few weeks.

Once on the launch pad, the rocket was connected to propellant and power supplies to begin the countdown toward liftoff at 0516 GMT Tuesday (1:16 a.m. EDT; 2:16 p.m. JST).

Credit: MHI
Credit: MHI
Credit: MHI