Japan will seek to launch its new flagship H3 rocket for the first time on Monday after a technical glitch forced it to abort a planned launch in mid-February moments before lift-off, the country's space agency said Friday.
The rocket is a successor to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's reliable H2A launch vehicle. It is scheduled to lift off from the Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima.
The Feb. 17 launch was aborted after an electrical current from the airframe's battery to its main engine's control unit was cut for several seconds, according to the agency.
The failed launch marked a setback for the program, already hit by a string of delays, as Japan seeks to gain a foothold in the increasingly competitive satellite-launch business with the new rocket.
The H3 rocket, which will carry a land observation satellite as its payload on the first launch, will give Japan ongoing access to space by launching satellites and probes related to government programs.
It is also seen as key to the country's participation in the next generation of space development, including the U.S.-led Artemis lunar exploration program.
Japan's H3 rocket launch aborts after glitch detected