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Tuesday, 17th February 2009
In General Japan News,

Jaxa unveils new space rocket

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have unveiled a new space rocket which, it is hoped, will boost the prestige of the country.

Tomihisa Nakamura, a researcher and head of the Jaxa project, commented: "We expect to make a trial launch toward the middle of this year if all the manufacturing and intermediary steps proceed well."

On completion, it is believed the H-2B rocket will be 56 metres in height, three metres taller than its sister rocket, reports the Agence France Presse news agency.

As well as carrying a satellite, the rocket will also be able to release a transfer vehicle which, according to Mr Nakamura, will allow the craft to "compete well internationally".

It has been an exciting time for Jaxa. Recently, it helped to create the first complete topographic map of the moon.

The study group was led by Hiroshi Araki, an assistant professor at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

Related news stories:
JAXA confirms asteroid dust (18th November 2010)