Japan is considering postponing a project that aims to retrieve the world's first Martian moon surface samples from 2024 to 2026 due to issues with its new flagship H3 rocket, which is set to facilitate the probe's launch, sources said Sunday.

The delay would inevitably crush plans for the probe from Martian Moons Exploration project, or MMX, to arrive in the Martian system during the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka and livestream detailed images to the expo venue, an envisioned highlight of the event.

The development comes following the failed inaugural launch in March of Japan's next-generation H3 rocket, under development by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which also resulted in the loss of a key satellite it carried as its payload.