The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on Monday postponed the launch of its “Lunar Sniper” mission to the moon for the third time due to bad weather.

The H2-A rocket slated to blast off from Tanegashima in the south also carries a research satellite co-developed with NASA and the European Space Agency.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) did not give a new date for the start of the mission, which follows India’s successful landing of a probe on the moon last week.

The rocket’s co-developer, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Launch Services, said on the social media platform X that the mission was canceled “because it has been confirmed that the aloft winds do not meet the constraints at launch”.

Last week, India landed a spacecraft near the moon’s south pole, a historic victory for the world’s most populous nation and its low-cost space program.

Previously, only the United States, Russia and China have successfully sent spacecraft to the lunar surface, and none to the South Pole.

India’s success comes days after a Russian probe crashed in the same area, after an Indian attempt failed at the last minute four years ago.

Japan has tried it before, last year trying to land a lunar probe called Omotenashi aboard NASA’s Artemis 1, but the mission failed and communications were lost.

In April, Japanese start-up ispace’s ambitious attempt to become the first private company to land on the moon lost touch after what the company called a “hard landing” and failed.

Moon Sniper is so called because JAXA aims to land it within 100 meters (330 feet) of a specific target on the Moon, much smaller than the usual range of a few kilometers.

Japan has also had problems with launch vehicles, with its next-generation H3 rocket in March and its usually reliable solid-fuel Epsilon rocket blasting off after liftoffs last October.


(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from syndicated feeds.)

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