Japan's H2A rocket carrying lunar lander set to lift off Thursday

A Japanese H2A rocket carrying a probe that will attempt to make the nation's first lunar landing is set to blast off on Thursday morning, after the launch was canceled last week due to bad weather.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, says the vehicle is scheduled to lift off from the Tanegashima Space Center in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima at 8:42 a.m. Japan time.

On board the rocket will be the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, developed by JAXA. Tasks of the unmanned probe include demonstrating accurate landing techniques and examining moon rocks.

If the mission is successful, Japan will become the fifth nation in the world to land a probe on the moon.

The H2A will also carry the X-Ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission, or XRISM. The space observation satellite was developed jointly by JAXA, US space agency NASA and others.

This is the first launch of a Japanese large rocket since the debut launch of the H3 rocket failed in March.

JAXA has taken measures to try to ensure the success of the H2A launch, including stepping up checks on parts shared by the two rockets.