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The launch of an H-IIA rocket, postponed due to a malfunction in an engine valve, will take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday, the National Space Development Agency of Japan said Saturday.

Preparations for the launch at the Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, were basically completed when the faulty parts were changed, the agency said. Saturday had previously been the launch date.

The H-IIA is an improved version of the trouble-prone H-II. Two H-II launches, in February 1998 and November 1999, ended in failure.

NASDA officials earlier said the organization is staking Japan’s survival in the space business on the H-IIA, given the H-II failures and its enormous development cost.

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