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Japan postpones launch of new rocket due to bad weather

Tokyo, Feb 14 (IANS) Japan’s space agency on Tuesday said the first launch of its new H3 rocket would be delayed again, this time due to bad weather conditions.

According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the scheduled maiden launch of the H3 rocket has been postponed from Wednesday to Friday morning, between 10:37 a.m. and 10:44 a.m. local time, Xinhua News Agency reported.

JAXA said the delayed launch was due to strong winds, along with cloudy and rainy conditions at the Tanegashima Space Center launch site in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan.

The launch of the H3 rocket, Japan’s successor to the H2A rocket, its previous mainstay launch vehicle, was initially planned for February 12, but pushed back to February 15, owing to a glitch in the rocket’s flight system.

The rocket, jointly developed by JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2014, with costs topping 200 billion yen (1.51 billion US dollars), was set to carry an earth observation satellite called DAICHI-3.

The new rocket can carry a payload roughly 30 per cent heavier than its predecessor, with launches estimated to cost 50 per cent less.

The DAICHI-3 earth observation satellite is purported to be used to assist in disaster management situations.



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