Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy reschedules moon rocket launch for Thursday

# 04 September 2023 12:25 (UTC +04:00)

Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said on Monday it planned to launch its H-IIA rocket carrying a moon lander on Thursday morning, after unfavourable wind conditions led to a postponement last month, APA reports citing Reuters.

The rocket is scheduled to take off from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Centre in southern Japan at 8:42 a.m. JST (Wednesday 2342 GMT), with a launch window open until Sept. 15, the company said.

The new schedule was announced a week after the previous launch attempt, which would have carried Japan's first spacecraft to land on the moon, was suspended because of high winds.

H-IIA, jointly developed by JAXA and MHI, has been Japan's flagship space launch vehicle, with 45 successful launches in 46 tries since 2001. After JAXA's new medium-lift H3 rocket failed on its debut in March, the agency postponed the launch of H-IIA No. 47 for several months to investigate the cause.

Hoping to help accelerate Japan's aerospace development initiatives, Japan may subsidize JAXA with about 10 billion yen ($68.4 million) in fiscal 2024, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Monday.

JAXA will use this subsidy to pay companies and universities involved in the development of satellites, rockets, and lunar-exploration technologies, the report said.