Japanese HTV berthing with the International Space Station on an earlier mission. Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — Japan’s space agency said Jan. 13 that a virus first discovered on one of its computers this past summer leaked some technical specifications and operations data about the nation’s space cargo ship, the H-2A Transfer Vehicle (HTV), outside of the agency.

The first data leaks occurred between July 6 and Aug. 11, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said in a press release. JAXA first discovered traces of the virus Aug. 11. The infected computer was taken out of service and the virus was removed.

However, JAXA said it detected traces of a different virus on the same terminal Jan. 6.

JAXA is now conducting an investigation into the leak and is checking other computers for viruses, according to the press release. The agency said it would provide further details about the leaked information at an unspecified date.

The next HTV launch to the international space station is scheduled for late June.

Dan Leone is a SpaceNews staff writer, covering NASA, NOAA and a growing number of entrepreneurial space companies. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public communications from the American University in Washington.