Japan successfully launches lunar lander
After several delays, Japan’s lunar lander was successfully launched into space on Thursday, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said the H2A rocket flight “proceeded nominally” with a special SLIM lunar lander and XRISM satellite both on board.
“The launch vehicle flew as planned, and it was confirmed that XRISM was successfully separated from the launch vehicle at about 14 minutes and 9 seconds after launch and SLIM at about 47 minutes and 33 seconds after launch,” said the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The rocket was launched from Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan in its first major domestic launch since this March.
The lunar lander was developed by Japan to test technology for pinpoint landings on the lunar surface, and the X-ray astronomical satellite is set to observe plasma in stars and galaxies.
It may take three to four months for the lunar lander to enter the Moon's orbit.
If successful, Japan will join the former Soviet Union, United States, China, and India in having landed a craft on the moon.
It was 41st successful launch of the H2A rocket in a row since 2005.
Japan saw several delays, initially due to technical failure and later due to weather.