The successful launch of Japan’s next-generation H3 rocket on Saturday has given a much-needed morale boost to officials and engineers involved in its development, following a series of setbacks in recent years.

The H3 — which replaces the H-IIA as the nation’s flagship rocket — will be used in a wide range of government-funded missions in areas such as national security, scientific research and weather forecasting.

Plans include launches for the earth observation satellite ALOS-4, cargo transfer spacecraft headed to the International Space Station, the Japan-India lunar mission and the Mars sample return mission, as well as even more spy satellites to monitor North Korea and natural disasters.