Japan's space agency said Tuesday it has decided to postpone the launch of a new H3 rocket scheduled for Thursday due to a forecast of bad weather at a liftoff site in southwestern Japan.
The new launch date for the No. 2 H3 rocket, a successor to the current mainstay H2A rocket, has yet to be determined, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Japan hopes to gain a foothold in the increasingly competitive satellite launching business.
JAXA plans to confirm the rocket's capacity to control its positioning and eject satellites through the launch project, underway at the Tanegashima Space Center.
The new rocket has an improved ignition system and will carry a mock satellite, matching the weight of the real one loaded onto the No. 1 H3 launch vehicle, and two microsatellites.
In the inaugural launch in March last year, the No. 1 H3 rocket lifted off from the center on Tanegashima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture but was ordered to self-destruct minutes later after its second-stage engine failed to ignite.