Japan's H2A rocket carrying lunar lander to be launched on Thursday

A Japanese H2A rocket carrying a lunar lander will be launched on Thursday after bad weather forced a last-minute cancellation last week.

Officials at JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the company in charge of launch operations, said on Monday that the rocket will lift off from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture at 8:42 a.m. on Thursday.

The launch has been postponed three times due to unsuitable weather conditions.

The SLIM, or Smart Lander for Investigating Moon was developed by JAXA. Its tasks include demonstrating accurate landing techniques and examining moon rocks. If successful, Japan would become only the fifth nation to land a probe on the moon.

The rocket will also carry the XRISM, or X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission. It's an astronomical satellite JAXA has developed with US space agency NASA and other organizations.

This is Japan's first rocket launch after its new H3 rocket failed on its debut in March.

To address concerns that the failure could impact the H2A's launch, JAXA has bolstered its inspections of components shared by the two rockets.