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Japan’s First Private Satellite Explodes Seconds After Launch

In a frustrating turn of events, the first ever private satellite launched by Japan ended in failure on Saturday when the space rocket exploded just after take-off. This was considered a major drawback for this country’s baby-business space industry and its dream to position itself as one of the players in the global satellite launching markets.

The rocket, which was developed by Interstellar Technologies Inc., a start-up company, took off from the Hokkaido Spaceport at 5:03 pm local time. However, within moments it developed a technical problem and caught fire, littering debris all over the launch site.

According to Takahiro Inagawa who is the President of Interstellar Technologies said, “We are sorry for failing our first rocket launch.” He added, “currently we are investigating an issue that caused such catastrophic failures.”

The MOMO-5 rocket carried the LS EYE tiny satellite manufactured by Lingrasys another Japanese firm. The purpose of this instrument was to conduct remote sensing and monitoring.

It is very sad about what happened because Interstellar Technologies could not reach their target even though they have been aiming at achieving this goal for many years having already tested their rockets’ engines several times with success.

Japan’s Private Space Industry Struggles to Take Off

Japan’s space program used to be dominated by the government agency JAXA but in recent years a number of startups have emerged, as they believe that privatizing space technology can lead to cost reduction and innovation.

“Inagawa commented that this failure will be a lesson for us,” he said. “We still believe space should be accessible to everybody.”

Nonetheless, Japan’s private space industry is optimistic about its prospects with several other companies including Axelspace and iSpace working on their own rockets and satellites.

The ability to launch satellites cheaply and efficiently has become a crucial advantage as demand for global satellite services continues rising. Private Japanese firms in the field of space want to find a niche in this profitable market thereby contributing towards the country’s dreams of exploring space.

This explosion may have been caused by human error; however Interstellar Technologies intends to do an in-depth investigation after which it will carry out another launch within a short time since it remains determined to achieve Japan’s dream of private space exploration.

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