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Japan delays lunar launch again as bad weather plagues mission

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Japan delayed the launch of a rocket carrying a lunar lander less than 30 minutes before its scheduled take off Monday as bad weather continued to plague the mission. 

The H2-A, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s most reliable heavy payload rocket, was originally set to launch Saturday morning carrying an advanced imaging satellite and a lightweight lander slated to reach the Moon as early as January. The launch time was first pushed back to Sunday, and then Monday amid concerns about the weather. 

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., which is responsible for building and launching the craft, didn’t immediately release the next planned launch date.

If and when it launches, Japan will become the latest nation to aim for the Moon after a Russian spacecraft last week crashed into the lunar surface and India’s Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed near the lunar south pole.

Following a woeful year marred by costly setbacks, Japan is looking to turn the tide in favour of its battered space program as it falls further behind Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com





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