TOKYO, August 27 (RIA Novosti) – Japan’s space agency aborted the launch of its new light-class Epsilon carrier rocket just before blastoff on Tuesday it said in a statement posted on its website.
A representative of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) told The Associated Press that the launch, scheduled for 1:45 p.m. local time, was called off after “an irregularity in the rocket posture was detected.”
No indication as to the cause of this irregularity was given, but JAXA said in the statement on its website that it is investigating the cause.
Epsilon was set to carry the SPRINT-A scientific research satellite into low Earth orbit to gather data on the atmosphere of Mars, Venus and other planets.
Epsilon, known as Japan’s “cheaper, smarter” rocket, was built to replace the M-5 which was in service from 1997 through 2006. Epsilon launches are forecast to cost $47 million each, compared to the M-5’s $94 million, JAXA's Epsilon program manager Yasuhiro Morita said, according to spaceflightnow.com.