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LAUNCH PAD
Japan sets new date for satellite rocket launch
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 09, 2013


Japan's state-run space agency Monday said the launch of its next-generation solid-fuel rocket had been rescheduled for September 14 after the first attempt was suspended seconds before lift-off.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to launch the Epsilon rocket from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima, southwestern Japan, on Saturday afternoon, according to the Jiji news agency.

An attempted launch on August 27 was automatically halted just 19 seconds before blast-off when a ground control computer falsely detected a positional abnormality.

JAXA said it has now improved the software that led to the error, Jiji reported.

Japan hopes the rocket, which was supposed to launch with just two laptop computers in a pared down command centre, will become competitive in the global space business.

The three-stage Epsilon -- 24 metres (79-feet) long and weighing 91 tonnes -- was scheduled to release the telescope "SPRINT-A" at an altitude of 1,000 kilometres (620 miles).

SPRINT-A is the world's first space telescope for remote observation of planets including Venus, Mars and Jupiter from its orbit around Earth, the agency said.

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