JAXA launch for HTV-8 cargo mission to International Space Station officially scrubbed

During a press conference held just after 6 AM JST, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Launch Director Atsutoshi Tamura and the Director of JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center Takeshi Fujita detailed what the two partners knew so far about the cause of their aborted HTV-8 mission on Tuesday. The launch, scheduled to take place at 6:33 AM JST, instead was officially scrubbed at around 4:34 AM JST due to a fire on the mobile launcher upon which the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIB rocket was sitting ready for launch. The fire began at 3:05 AM JST according to Tamura, and efforts began immediately to extinguish it immediately, with the fire finally being completely put out (as far as JAXA and MHI can tell) by …

Unbuilt Tokyo: ‘depthscrapers’ and a million-person pyramid

Had the creators of the underground skyscraper had their way, the Japanese capital might have looked very different indeed Protected by cylindrical walls of reinforced concrete, the steel and glass depthscrapers extend hundreds of metres underground. Only a single floor of each inverted 35-storey skyscraper is visible at ground level. Giant mirrors mounted directly above the central wells reflect sunlight to the apartments below. Prismatic glass ensures even light throughout the day, while fresh, conditioned air is pumped down from the surface. The whole structure, in case of an earthquake, will vibrate together, resisting any crushing strain, declared a 1931 edition of Everyday Science and Mechanics that called the design the product of the best engineering brains of Japan. The …