Japan's H3 rocket, developed as a successor to its current mainstay launch vehicle, will blast off in mid-February, about a year after the first attempt ended in failure, the space agency said Thursday.

The H3 is the first revamp of the country's main launch vehicle in around 20 years and will replace its reliable H2A rocket. Despite high hopes that the new rocket would give Japan a foothold in the increasingly competitive satellite launching business, its development has been marred by a string of delays.

The No. 2 H3 rocket is scheduled to take off between 9:22 a.m. and 1:06 p.m. on Feb. 15 from the Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima island in Kagoshima Prefecture, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

If JAXA misses that launch window, the next opportunity will fall between Feb. 16 and March 31.

In the inaugural launch in March this year, the No. 1 H3 rocket lifted off but was sent orders to self-destruct minutes later after its second-stage engine failed to ignite.

Having narrowed down the causes of the failure to a short-circuiting of the second-stage engine igniter and two other factors, JAXA has reinforced the insulation in the No. 2 H3 rocket, among other measures.

The No. 2 rocket was initially planned to carry the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-4, meant to observe the Earth's surface, but it will carry two microsatellites instead after the failed first launch attempt.

The No. 1 rocket carried the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-3, but they are believed to have fallen into waters off the Philippines together.

For the H3 rocket, Japan aims to contain costs at around ¥5 billion ($35 million), about half of those associated with the H2A but with 1.3 times more satellite launch capacity.