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Japan’s H3 Rocket Triumph: Successful Launch a Year After Initial Failure

Japan H3 Rocket Successful Launch After Initial Failure

Japan’s space agency has announced the successful launch of its flagship H3 space rocket, following a failed attempt a year ago.

The H3 departed from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 9:22 a.m. local time on Saturday, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

The space body confirmed that the second-stage engine had finished burning and the rocket had successfully reached orbit as intended.

The H3 rocket is intended to be more cost-effective than its predecessors, the H-2A and H-2B, by utilizing commercial off-the-shelf products instead of specialized aerospace components, as stated by JAXA.

JAXA anticipates that the H3 will have the capability to launch government and commercial missions in the future. If successful, the space agency intends to launch it up to six times a year for the next two decades.

The first launch of H3 ended in failure in March when its second stage did not ignite, leading to a destroy command being issued 15 minutes after lift-off. This was just one of several issues during the maiden launch, which had been delayed previously due to ignition failures affecting two of the rocket’s secondary booster engines.

The successful launch on Saturday marks another achievement for JAXA, coming just two months after its robotic explorer landed on the moon in January.

JAXA celebrated the event as a major milestone for future lunar and planetary exploration, even though technical issues had rendered the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, inoperable for several days after landing.

The spacecraft landed in the wrong direction, which hindered the solar cells from producing power. But after 10 days, it regained consciousness.

JAXA also utilized new precision technology to showcase a “pinpoint” landing within 100 meters of the SLIM’s target.

Japan has successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon, becoming the fifth country to achieve this feat after India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission last August. The United States, the former Soviet Union, and China have all successfully landed spacecraft on the moon.

The recent surge in space exploration is fueled by nations’ interest in extracting water from ice in the perpetually dark areas of the moon’s southern pole. According to experts, this could potentially be utilized for drinking water or as fuel as we continue to expand our reach into space exploration.


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