Japan Space Agency to Launch Second H3 Rocket Next February; Countermeasures Implemented Following Failure

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The logo of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has decided to launch the nation’s new mainstay H3 rocket for the second time, from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on Feb. 15 next year.

The space agency has been investigating the cause of the first H3 rocket’s launch failure in March and is implementing countermeasures.

The first H3 launch vehicle was deliberately destroyed in-flight after its second-stage engine failed to ignite due to excessive current generated in the electrical system of the engine. An expert panel from the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry compiled a report in October, which included countermeasures such as the replacement of parts.

In November, JAXA announced its plan to launch a second H3 vehicle by the end of this fiscal year, after implementing the countermeasures.

The launch date of Feb. 15 was determined by H3 developers, including JAXA, after a close examination of preparations on site, according to government officials.