Japan’s space dream put on hold as moon lander launch is delayed

Japan’s space agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), has suspended the launch of an H-IIA rocket carrying a moon lander due to wind conditions.

The launch was scheduled to take place at 10:50 a.m. local time on Monday, August 28, 2023, from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. However, 24 minutes before the scheduled launch time, JAXA announced that the launch had been suspended due to wind conditions in the upper atmosphere.

The wind conditions were not favorable for the launch, as they could have caused the rocket to deviate from its course. JAXA said that it will assess the wind conditions and make a decision on whether to reschedule the launch on Tuesday, August 29.

The H-IIA rocket is carrying the SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating the Moon) moon lander. The SLIM is a small, 200-kilogram lander that is designed to land on the moon and conduct experiments. The SLIM is the first Japanese moon lander to be launched since 2009.

The suspension of the launch is a setback for JAXA, but the agency said that it is confident that the launch will be successful when the conditions are right.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the news:

  • The launch of the H-IIA rocket carrying the SLIM moon lander has been suspended due to wind conditions.
  • The launch was scheduled to take place on August 28, 2023, but was called off 24 minutes before the scheduled time.
  • JAXA will assess the wind conditions and make a decision on whether to reschedule the launch on August 29.
  • The SLIM is a small, 200-kilogram lander that is designed to land on the moon and conduct experiments.
  • The suspension of the launch is a setback for JAXA, but the agency said that it is confident that the launch will be successful when the conditions are right.

The suspension of the launch is disappointing, but it is important to remember that space exploration is a challenging endeavor and that there are always risks involved. JAXA has a long history of successful launches and I am confident that they will be able to successfully launch the SLIM moon lander when the conditions are right.

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