Japanese Startup's Rocket Flames Out on Liftoff - NBC Connecticut
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Japanese Startup's Rocket Flames Out on Liftoff

Hokkaido, we have a problem

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rocket Crashes Seconds After Launch

    A small rocket from Japanese startup Interstellar Technologies crashed just seconds after liftoff in Hokkaido, Japan, on June 30, 2018. This was the second failed launch from the company. (Published Monday, July 2, 2018)

    A rocket developed by a Japanese startup company burst into flames seconds after a failed liftoff Saturday in northern Japan.

    The MOMO-2 rocket, developed by Interstellar Technologies, was launched in Taiki town on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost main island. It was supposed to reach as high as 100 kilometers (62 miles) into space.

    Television footage showed that the 10-meter (33-foot) pencil rocket lifted only slightly from its launch pad before dropping to the ground, disappearing in a fireball. Footage on NHK public television showed a charred rocket lying on the ground.

    The incident caused no injuries.

    Watch: Used SpaceX Rocket Launches From California Coast

    [NATL-LA] Watch: Used SpaceX Rocket Launches From California Coast

    A SpaceX rocket used for a previous mission was sent back into space, this time with 10 communications satellites aboard. The rocket launched Friday, March 30, 2018, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

    (Published Friday, March 30, 2018)

    Interstellar Technologies president Takahiro Inagawa said he believes the rocket suffered a glitch in its main engine.

    He apologized for the failure, and said his team would collect the debris to analyze the problem and improve the rocket.

    Saturday's failure was the second after the rocket's first launch last July.

    The project was started in 2005 by maverick entrepreneur Takafumi Horie, founder of internet service provider Livedoor, who was joined by science journalists and other space fans in an effort to develop a small, lightweight and low-cost rocket to send information satellites into space.