Japan launches H3 rocket a year after failed first flight

Japan launches H3 rocket a year after failed first flight
Japan launches H3 rocket a year after failed first flight

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - An aerial view shows a second test model of H3 rocket lift off from the launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center on the southwestern island of Tanegashima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan February 17, 2024, in this photo taken by Kyodo. ― Kyodo via Reuters

TOKYO, Feb 17 ― Japan's space agency today launched a second test model of its new flagship rocket H3, almost one year after the first failed due to engine ignition trouble.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and primary contractor Mitsubishi Heavy Industries plan for the H3 to replace the two-decade-old H-IIA rocket, hoping that its lower costs and greater payload capacity will help them win launch orders from global clients.

The rocket will fly for roughly two hours and release two micro-satellites and a dummy mass simulating a satellite payload.

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The government plans to launch about 20 satellites and probes with H3 rockets by 2030.

A successful launch of the next-generation flagship rocket would follow the historic “pinpoint” moon landing of Japan's SLIM spacecraft, burnishing the country's space credentials.

JAXA will host a press conference later in the day to explain the mission's outcome. ― Reuters

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