The rocket explodes after launch

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Tokyo-based startup Space One was aiming to become the first private Japanese firm to put a satellite into orbit.
A small Japanese rocket exploded shortly after launch in a blow to Tokyo-based startup Space One’s attempt to become the first local company to put a satellite into orbit.
Space One said the flight was “interrupted” after the launch from the mountainous Kii peninsula in western Japan and was investigating the situation.
Space One has said the launch was highly automated and required only about a dozen staff at the ground control centre.
Space One was established in 2018 by a group of Japanese companies including Canon Electronics, IHI Aerospace, construction firm Shimizu and the government-backed Development Bank of Japan.
Space One wants to offer “space courier services” to domestic and international clients, with plans to launch 20 rockets a year by the late 2020s.
Last July, another Japanese rocket engine exploded during a test about 50 seconds after ignition.
The solid-fuel Epsilon S was an improved version of the Epsilon rocket that had failed to launch the previous October.
Last month, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) toasted a successful blast-off for its new flagship rocket, the H3, after years of delays and two previous failed attempts.
JAXA’s successful launch followed Japan’s January landing of an unmanned probe on the Moon, making it just the fifth country to achieve a “soft landing” on the lunar surface.

The goal of Tokyo-based startup Space One was to launch a satellite into orbit and become the first private Japanese company to accomplish so.

A Tokyo-based startup called Space One was denied the opportunity to become the first local company to launch a satellite into orbit when a small Japanese rocket burst shortly after launch.

Moments after takeoff on Tuesday at 11:01 a.m. (02:01 GMT), the 18-meter (60-foot), four-stage solid-fuel rocket known as Kairos burst into fragments, covering livestream screens with images of flames and towering clouds of smoke. Water was being sprayed by sprinklers as burning debris was seen falling onto the nearby mountain slopes.

Following takeoff from the rugged Kii Peninsula in western Japan, Space One reported that the flight had “interrupted” and that it was looking into what had happened.

The cause of the explosion and the existence of any injuries were not immediately apparent. According to Space One, only a dozen employees at the ground control center were needed for the highly automated launch.

Kairos was supposed to put an experimental government satellite into orbit approximately 51 minutes after launch, with the capability of temporarily replacing intelligence satellites in the event of a malfunction.

Japan is a minor participant in the space race, but its rocket engineers are working feverishly to produce more affordable vehicles in order to meet the country’s government’s and other international clients’ growing demand for satellite launches.

A consortium of Japanese corporations, led by the government-backed Development Bank of Japan, Canon Electronics, IHI Aerospace, and construction company Shimizu, founded Space One in 2018.

With plans to launch 20 rockets annually by the late 2020s, Space One hopes to provide “space courier services” to both domestic and foreign clients.

About 50 seconds after ignition, a second Japanese rocket engine exploded during testing in July of last year.

An upgraded version of the Epsilon rocket that had failed to launch in October of the previous year was called the solid-fuel Epsilon S.

A massive cloud of gray smoke shot skyward from the testing site in the northern prefecture of Akita.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) celebrated the successful launch of its new flagship rocket, the H3, last month. This achievement came after two unsuccessful attempts and years of delays.

One day, the H3 might transport goods to bases on the moon, competing with SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

After Japan’s successful landing of an unmanned spacecraft in January, JAXA became the fifth nation to accomplish a “soft landing” on the moon.

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