TOKYO, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The possible reason why Japan canceled the launch of Epsilon, a new kind of solid-fuel rocket 19 seconds before the scheduled liftoff Tuesday afternoon was programming error and lax preliminary checks, local media reported Wednesday.
The computer controlling the launch from the ground detected an abnormality in the rocket position but it was later found to be normal. "It may have been an elementary, but not serious, problem, " said one of the experts, quoted by the Kyodo News agency.
An inspection after the canceled launch found no abnormality with the attitude sensors mounted on the rocket or with the computer feeding the data to the ground, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
It would take some time before the next launch, while specific time yet to be determined.
Tetsuo Yasaka, professor emeritus of space engineering at Kyushu University said: "It should only require a minor repair because possible causes have been narrowed down."
The three-stage Epsilon is 24.4 meters long, 2.6 meters in diameter and weighs 91 tons. It is a successor to the M-5 rocket that was retired in 2006 after it sent up probe vehicles such as Hayabusa.
It is loaded with the world's first space telescope "SPRINT-A", which is designed for remote observation of planets including Venus, Mars and Jupiter from its orbit around Earth, JAXA said.