JAXA's Small Lander for Investigation Moon, or SLIM

Japan's space agency JAXA plans to send the H2-A rocket to the moon on Sunday morning, following the recent success of Chandrayaan-3 and the failure of Russia's Luna-25. India's ISRO recently launched the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, which made a soft landing near the moon's south pole, making India the first country to do so.

According to a Bloomberg report, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) H2-A rocket is the agency's most reliable rocket, with only one failure in 42 launches since 2001.

The nearly 175-foot H2-A rocket will carry a Small Lander for Investigation Moon, or SLIM. The H2-A rocket will also carry the X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission, or XRISM, a satellite that will help scientists observe plasma in stars and galaxies.

The report notes that H2-A's success could pave the way for other probes with high navigational accuracy. It could also help JAXA rebuild its reputation after a series of costly setbacks last year.

JAXA's Costly Failures:

JAXA's problems began in October 2022, when it had to abandon its plans for the sixth launch of the Epsilon rocket mid-flight. It was the first major failure for a Japanese rocket since 2003, and a subsequent investigation by JAXA blamed the failure on a faulty part that prevented the rocket from staying upright.

In November 2022, JAXA announced that one of its research teams had falsified large amounts of data collected during an experiment to simulate life on the International Space Station.

In February this year, JAXA had to postpone the launch of the H3 rocket due to a system malfunction between its main engine and side booster. In March, the rocket's second stage engine failed to ignite and operators had to send a self-destruct code while the rocket was in mid-air.

The engine of an Epsilon S rocket exploded during a ground test in July, a major setback for Epsilon and H3 as both rockets use the same solid rocket booster.