July 15 (UPI) -- Weather at the launch site in Japan has delayed Thursday's historic launch of a United Arab Emirates space mission to Mars. It was the second such delay in a week.
The UAE government announced the delay early on Wednesday morning via Twitter, saying "a new launch date in July will be announced in the next 24 hours."
The UAE aims to become the first Arab nation to launch a spacecraft to another planet. A Japanese H-2A rocket has been prepared and loaded with the Emirati orbiting satellite, named Hope, at the Tanegashima Space Center, about 450 miles south of Hiroshima.
Launch controllers also had postponed a launch Tuesday because of bad weather.
The mission would be the first attempt by any Arab country to reach another planet. Only the United States, Russia, the European Space Agency and India have sent spacecraft to Mars.
Two more Mars missions are planned this summer, as Mars and Earth draw near each other for a period of months, after which the flights would be delayed another two years.
The UAE launch is to be followed by a Chinese Tianwen-1 Mars mission launch planned for July 23, and then NASA's Mars Perseverance rover no earlier than July 30.
The UAE plans a February 2021 arrival at Mars, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the country's founding in 1971.