Kairos, which could have been the first rocket operated by a private Japanese company to put a satellite into orbit, exploded this Wednesday after the first launch attempt, Space One said.

The failed launch occurred at 11:01 am (2:01 am in Lisbon) from a platform in Kushimoto, western Japan.

The company that operated the KairosSpace One, had postponed the launch several times, the last postponement occurred on Saturday, after a boat was detected nearby.

The rocket exploded in mid-air just seconds after liftoff, scattering burning fuel and fragments across the pad, according to a live broadcast of the launch by Japanese state broadcaster NHK. “The launch of the first Kairos rocket took place, but we took measures to cancel the flight. Details are being investigated,” Space One said in a statement.


The objective of the launch was, after a flight of around 50 minutes and reaching an altitude of 500 kilometers, to put into operation orbits an experimental Japanese government information satellite.

Space One aimed to be the first Japanese private company to place a satellite into orbit, something that has only been achieved by the Japanese Aerospace Agency, in some cases in collaboration with the private sector.

The project was part of the Japanese aerospace industry’s efforts to build smaller and cheaper spacecraft, given the growing demand for satellite placement.

The Kairos rocket, with 18 meters long — relatively small for this type of vehicle —, weighing 23 tons and powered by solid fuel, it was designed to transport a payload of 250 kilograms to low Earth orbit.

Founded in Tokyo in 2018, Space One has the participation of large Japanese companies such as Canon Electronics and the construction company Shimuzu and several of the main Japanese financial groups.

Source: https://observador.pt/2024/03/13/foguete-da-empresa-japonesa-space-one-explode-durante-o-lancamento/

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