TOKYO – A rocket engineered by a Japanese startup company exploded in flames seconds after launch on Saturday in northern Japan
The MOMO-2 rocket developed by Interstellar Technologies was launched in Taiki Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost main island. It should reach a height of up to 100 kilometers.
TV recordings showed that the ten-meter-long pencil rocket was only slightly lifted off its launch pad before falling to the ground and a fireball vanished inside
The blast did not cause any injuries.
Takahiro Inagawa, president of Interstellar Technologies, said he believes the missile has failed in its main engine.
He apologized for the failure and said his team would collect the rubble Analyze the problem and improve the missile.
The failure of Saturday was the second after the first launch of the rocket in July last year.
The project was launched in 2005 by outsider entrepreneur Takafumi Horie, the founder of Livedoor Internet service provider, by science journalists and other space enthusiasts in an effort to develop a small, lightweight and cost-effective rocket to send information satellites into space.
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