Monday, April 15, 2024
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Japan’s Inaugural Space One Kairos Rocket Faces Setback with Explosive Launch

The Kairos, a compact solid-fuel rocket manufactured by Japan’s Space One, suffered a catastrophic failure shortly after its maiden launch on Wednesday. In its endeavor to be the first Japanese company to successfully deploy a satellite into orbit, the 18-meter (59 ft) rocket erupted in flames mere seconds after liftoff at 11:01 a.m. (0201 GMT).

The incident left in its wake a billowing cloud of smoke, a blaze, rocket debris, and the spectacle of firefighting water sprays surrounding the launch pad—captured vividly on local media livestreams. Originally scheduled for launch on Saturday, Space One delayed the event due to the entry of a ship into the adjacent restricted sea area.

Following the launch from the summit of the mountainous Kii Peninsula in western Japan, Space One reported that the flight was “interrupted” and is currently conducting an investigation into the incident. At present, there is no immediate indication of the cause behind the explosion.

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