Launch Of Japan's H2A Rocket Carrying Lunar Lander Postponed

Launch Of Japan's H2A Rocket Carrying Lunar Lander Postponed

Aug. 28, 2023, 7:26 a.m.

Japan was expected to launch an H2A rocket on Monday morning carrying a probe that will attempt to make the nation's first lunar landing. The mission, however, has been postponed due to unfavorable weather.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, planned to launch the H2A rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima at 9:26 a.m.

The lunar probe, known as the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, was developed by JAXA. Its tasks include demonstrating accurate landing techniques and examining moon rocks.

If the mission is successful, Japan will become the fifth nation in the world to land a probe on the moon.

Data the probe obtains will be utilized for the US-led Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts to the moon.

The H2A rocket will also carry the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission, or XRISM, which JAXA has developed jointly with US space agency NASA and other organizations.

To address concerns that the failed debut of the new H3 rocket in March could impact the H2A's launch, JAXA bolstered its inspections of shared components. NHK

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