Japan's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science plans to launch its second M5 solid-propellant booster towards the Moon in August. The 30m-high, three-stage rocket, which had its maiden flight from Kagoshima (left) on 12 February, carrying the Muses B radio telescope into orbit, will next be used to launch the 540kg Lunar A probe. This will enter a 200km circular lunar orbit in February 1998 and despatch three 138mm-long, 13.6kg penetrators into the lunar surface to obtain geophysical data.

Source: Flight International