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Japan delays launch of JAXA’s new rocket

According to unnamed sources in Japan’s space agency JAXA, the first launch of its new H3 rocket, presently scheduled for the end of March ’22, will be delayed by as much as a year because of “defects” in the rocket’s engine.

…the discovery of defects forced the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to delay it a second time as it remains unclear by when the vehicle’s engine can be redesigned and produced, the sources said Monday.

Some people in the government expressed concerns over the postponement being potentially prolonged, the sources said.

…In May 2020, a test conducted on the H3 rocket’s main engine found holes on the wall of a combustion chamber and a crack on a turbine that feeds fuel to the chamber, prompting the agency to announce the first delay.

Since then, JAXA has reviewed its design and has been reassembling the rocket at Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, from where the rocket is planned to lift off.

None of this has as yet been officially announced. If true, this is a serious blow to Japan’s space effort, which has not been very competitive anyway in the global launch industry. The older H2 rocket in use now is very expensive, so that it has garnered few customers outside of the Japanese government. The new H3 was supposed cost less, but it is entirely expendable, so it can’t compete with the reusable rockets of SpaceX, Blue Origin, or Rocket Lab.

It is also apparently being designed and controlled by JAXA, not Mitsubishi, the prime contractor. Government-run programs nowadays routinely experience endless delays and cost overruns, and the H3 project appears to be more of the same.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Skunk Bucket

    When it comes to sclerotic bureaucracy, JAXA seems to rank right up there with NASA. Sad, because I think the Japanese would do an amazing job in the space industry if they were allowed to.

  • David M. Cook

    Are you kidding me!?! This engineering disaster is occurring in a nation whose auto industry churns out engines which run for 300,000 miles, and they produce them by the thousands every month! Somehow making ONE rocket engine is a problem? It just does not make sense!

  • Col Beausabre

    “but it is entirely expendable”

    It can form the basis of a nuclear (and Mark II, thermonuclear) IRBM. It only needs to work once. With the feckless Bidenites proving themselves both incompetent and having the instincts of Chamberlain at Munich vs Putin and in Vienna vs Iran * Dai Nippon will almost certainly decide the US “Nuclear Umbrella” is worthless and will look to their own defense vs The Celestial Empire 2.0

    * “You had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and will have war” – WS Churchill

  • Jeff Wright

    I think Japan would be the perfect place for Elon to relocate to. Call their Starship Yamato…teach them how to think big…and dine on whale and turtle meat…maybe some plover…and send ESG Hound the postcard.

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