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A spacecraft named One explodes shortly after liftoff in Japan.
Science World News

. A spacecraft named One explodes shortly after liftoff in Japan.

A Japanese company’s rocket, intended to launch a satellite into orbit, exploded mere seconds after liftoff.

On Wednesday, Space One, headquartered in Tokyo, launched their 18-meter Kairos rocket from their launch site in the Wakayama area of western Japan. The rocket was carrying a small satellite for government testing purposes.

Shortly after, a solid-fuel rocket exploded in flames, causing smoke to engulf the isolated mountain region, as shown in live footage. Space One announced in a statement that the launch of the first Kairos rocket was completed, but a decision was made to abort the flight. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

As the sprinklers began to spray water, burning debris descended onto the nearby hills. Many individuals had assembled at public viewing spots, including a nearby waterfront. A senior gentleman expressed his disappointment to NHK, stating, “I had high expectations for this. I am curious to know what went wrong.”

Unsuccessful initial attempts to launch a new rocket system are normal and even predicted, as shown by SpaceX’s example. The failure of Space One also hinders Japan’s ambitions to compete in the profitable market of launching commercial satellites.

The original intention was to launch the satellite Kairos, which derives from the ancient Greek phrase for “the right moment,” into orbit around 51 minutes after takeoff. However, due to a lack of necessary parts and other complications, Space One has delayed the launch of Kairos five times, with the most recent postponement occurring on Saturday.

The Mayor of Kushimoto, a town with a population of 15,000 in Wakayama, expressed surprise and sadness regarding the launch. Katsumasa Tashima stated, “I never would have expected this outcome.” Despite this, the town is committed to backing Space One and is willing to provide assistance for a successful first rocket launch.

In 2018, Space One was formed by a group of prominent Japanese technology companies, such as Canon Electronics, IHI Aerospace, construction company Shimizu, and the government-backed Development Bank of Japan.

In July of last year, a Japanese rocket called Epsilon S, which used solid fuel, detonated during a test approximately 50 seconds after being ignited.

However, Japan’s space agency celebrated a triumphant launch of its latest flagship rocket, the H3, last month. This came after years of setbacks and two unsuccessful earlier tries.

Subsequently, Japan’s accomplishment of a “soft landing” on the moon is considered a success, despite the probe landing on its side. This achievement puts Japan as the fifth nation to achieve this feat.

With AFP

Source: theguardian.com