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Japan suspends moon rocket launch due to strong winds

A space agency in Japan suspends a planned launch to the moon due to strong winds

A space agency in Japan had to stop a planned launch of a rocket to the moon due to high winds. The craft was said to be carrying the country’s first spacecraft to the moon. The operator of the project was Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

The rocket set for the launch was an H-IIA rocket. This rocket has a 98% rate of successful launches. However, the operation was called off 30 minutes before the launch. Tatsuru Tokunaga, MHI’s launch chief, states that high-altitude winds restrained the launch. Thus, it was cancelled and ensured no falling debris hit outside the pre-warned areas.

(Image Source: Kyodo/via REUTERS)

Authorities have yet to release a new launch date to the public. However, speculations state that the new launch will happen before this Thursday and could be by September 15, 2023. MHI and Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) agree.

The launch was from Tanegashima Space Center. It is JAXA’s center in Southern Japan. There were two prior cancellations due to weather conditions. The launch of the H-IIA rocket will be the 47th in Japan’s aerospace history.

JAXA’s Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon (SLIM) is fitted onto the rocket. It would be the first Japanese spacecraft to launch on the moon. iSpace, a Tokyo-based start-up, launched a lander, Hakuto-R Mission 1, earlier. Unfortunately, the lander crashed on the lunar surface this April.

Japan exerts more efforts

The Japanese aerospace agency plans to start the lunar lander’s (SLIM) landing early next year from the lunar orbit. Japan wishes to expand its space exploration after the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission this year.

Unfortunately, Japan’s space exploration programs have experienced several setbacks, such as failed launches and engine explosions. However, the country is still determined to send astronauts to the moon’s surface in the late 2020s.

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