Japan launches 'moon sniper' lunar mission
Japan on Thursday launched a lunar mission after overcoming multiple delays due to unfavorable weather conditions.
The H2-A rocket blasted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan, Japan's space agency (JAXA) announced.
The rocket is carrying the country's "moon sniper" lander, which is expected to touch down on moon's surface in four to six months.
Japan's lander, officially called the Smart Lander for Investigating Moon (SLIM), is designed to land within 100 meters (328 feet) of a specific target on the moon. This much more accurate than the usual range of several kilometers.
"By creating the SLIM lander humans will make a qualitative shift towards being able to land where we want and not just where it is easy to land," JAXA said before the launch.
Globally, "there are no previous instances of pinpoint landing on celestial bodies with significant gravity such as the moon," the space agency said.