Japan’s race to space halted by rocket explosion

Earlier today, a rocket made by a Japanese company exploded seconds after it was launched. Their goal was to put a satellite into orbit and for Space one to become the first Japanese company to reach this.

Space one

Established in 2018 by Japanese companies joining together including, Canon Electronics, the aerospace engineering unit of IHI, Shimizu and the development bank of Japan. Additionally, Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho, two of Japan’s biggest banks also hold minority stakes.

If the launch has been successful then the experimental government satellite which the rocket carries would have been able to temporarily replace intelligence satellites in orbit if they fall offline.

The Rocket

The rocket was called Kairos and was launched on Wednesday 13 March in West Japan off the mountains. It was unmanned and no injuries were reported from the explosion.

The problem detected by the rocket’s automated system was unclear and is still under investigation, according to Space One.

The rocket was 59-foot tall and was set of 18 metres from Space one’s base.

The outcome

The president of Space one, Masakazu Toyoda has stated their ambitions to continue their work and learn from past mistakes. Failures in rocket launches are common and should not deter their work.

Since the explosion shares in Canon Electronics have fallen by more than 9%

Japan is seeking to boost it’s domestic aerospace industry in order to counter technological and military rivel from China and Russia.

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