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JAXA postpones launch of satellite due to lightning

JIJI

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said Monday it will postpone the Wednesday launch of its third Epsilon solid-fuel rocket due to expected bad weather.

The space agency now aims to launch the three-stage, 26-meter rocket from Uchinoura Space Center in the town of Kimotsuki, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Thursday morning, at the earliest.

JAXA made the decision because lightning is forecast to threaten the region on Wednesday. Electronic equipment on the rocket may malfunction if struck by lightning, JAXA officials said.

The rocket is set to put an advanced and low-cost Asnaro-2 radar satellite into orbit.