Japan successfully launches H2A rocket carrying lunar lander

Japan has successfully launched an H2A rocket carrying a probe that will attempt to make the nation's first lunar landing.

The rocket lifted off on Thursday from the Tanegashima Space Center in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima at 8:42 a.m., Japan time.

The rocket placed the probe, known as the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, into orbit around 9:30 a.m.