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    “Japan’s First Private Satellite Explodes During Launch on Camera”


    Japanese Startup's Rocket Explodes Seconds After Launch, Dealing Setback to Satellite Ambitions

    In a setback to Japan’s ambitions in the satellite-launch market, a rocket developed by Tokyo-based startup Space One exploded just moments after liftoff on Wednesday. The fiery failure, captured on camera by public broadcaster NHK, occurred as the company aimed to become the first Japanese private firm to successfully place a satellite into orbit.

    The 18-meter (60-foot) solid-fuel Kairos rocket, carrying a small government test satellite, launched from Space One’s own launch pad in Wakayama prefecture, western Japan. However, seconds after liftoff, the rocket erupted into flames, filling the launch pad area with black smoke and sending burning debris cascading onto surrounding mountain slopes as sprinklers attempted to douse the flames.

    In a statement, Space One confirmed the launch of the first Kairos rocket but stated that the flight was aborted, with further details under investigation.

    This failure represents a significant setback to Japan’s aspirations in the satellite-launch market, with the government aiming to assess the feasibility of quickly launching temporary, small satellites in the event of malfunctions with existing spy satellites.

    Space One, established in 2018 by a consortium of major Japanese tech businesses and government entities, had hoped to put the satellite into orbit approximately 51 minutes after liftoff. However, the explosion joins a series of recent setbacks in Japan’s space endeavors, including the malfunction of the Epsilon S rocket engine during testing last July and the failure of the H3 rocket launch in March 2023.

    Sources By Agencies

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