Japan’s H3 Rocket Launch Postponed to Tuesday

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The H3 rocket is seen at Tanegashima Space Center in Minamitane, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Feb. 17.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on Saturday postponed the launch date for the nation’s new mainstay H3 rocket to Tuesday, due to expected thunderstorms.

The rocket is now scheduled to take off at 10:37 a.m. on the day from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The first H3 rocket was originally set to blast off on the morning of Feb. 17, but the launch was aborted at the last minute. JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. discovered that electrical noise had been generated following ignition of the main engine, causing a switch that sends power to the first-stage main engine to malfunction and turn off.

Measures were taken to suppress the noise, and JAXA had reset the launch for Monday.

The first H3 rocket will carry the government’s land observing satellite Daichi-3, which is designed to assess damage in the event of disasters.