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Japan launched H3 heavy-lift carrier rocket with two satellites into space

Japan launched H3 heavy-lift carrier rocket with two satellites into space Japan launched the H3 heavy-lift carrier rocket (photo: Getty Images)

Japan's space agency has announced the successful launch of the second test of the H3 heavy rocket, carrying two satellites on board, according to Reuters.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and its prime contractor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, plan for the H3 rocket to replace the H-IIA rocket, which was developed two decades ago. They anticipate that lower operational costs and greater payload capacity compared to its predecessor will help them secure launch orders from global customers.

The rocket is expected to fly for about two hours and release two microsatellites, as well as a mass model simulating a satellite's payload. The government plans to launch about 20 satellites and probes with H3 rockets by 2030

The successful launch of the next-generation rocket follows the historic landing of the Japanese SLIM module on the Moon.

Japan is developing its space program

Earlier, it was reported that the Japanese space module SLIM (Smart Lander for Investigating Moon) successfully landed on the surface of the Moon. The landing module, which was launched back in September 2023, touched down on the lunar surface on January 19.

We also reported that in Japan in March of last year, due to a technical malfunction of the carrier rocket, the launch of an Earth remote sensing satellite was canceled for the second time. It is noted that the engine of the second stage failed to ignite, which is why a self-destruct signal was sent to the rocket. The carrier rocket was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center. Its flight was interrupted after the absence of a signal to start the engine of the second stage of the rocket.