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Lunar-A launch delayed
Posted: Wed, Mar 31, 2004, 10:23 AM ET (1523 GMT)
Lunar-A spacecraft illustration (JAXA) The Japanese space agency JAXA has delayed the launch of a lunar mission that had been scheduled to lift off this summer, the AP reported Wednesday. JAXA officials said the launch was delayed because valves in the spacecraft's thrusters have been recalled by their American manufacturer, Moog, because of potential defects. Officials did not indicate how long the launch would be delayed, but the AP article said that the Kyodo News agency reported the problem would delay the launch until next year. Lunar-A is a small orbiter that carries two penetrators that will be fired into the lunar surface. The spacecraft will be launched by a M 5 rocket. A larger Japanese lunar mission, Selene, has been pushed back from 2005 until 2006 because of problems with the larger H-2A rocket that will launch that spacecraft.
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