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Business News/ News / Watch | Japan's first private-sector rocket ‘Kairos’ explodes mid-air moments after launch
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Watch | Japan's first private-sector rocket ‘Kairos’ explodes mid-air moments after launch

Japan's first private-sector rocket called Kairos blasted off from Wakayama Prefecture, in central Japan, exploding mid-air within seconds.

Japan's Space One's small, solid-fuelled Kairos rocket lifts off before turning into a plume of smoke after the launch at Space One's launching pad on the tip of Kii peninsula in Kushimoto town, Wakayama prefecture, Japan on March 13. (via REUTERS)Premium
Japan's Space One's small, solid-fuelled Kairos rocket lifts off before turning into a plume of smoke after the launch at Space One's launching pad on the tip of Kii peninsula in Kushimoto town, Wakayama prefecture, Japan on March 13. (via REUTERS)

Japan's first private-sector rocket failed in its space mission as it exploded shortly after liftoff. The rocket went up in flames seconds after taking off at around 11 am on Wednesday, March 13, morning. 

The lightweight Kairos rocket was a Japanese star-tup, Space One Co's product that was backed by Canon Inc. The start-up thus failed to join a booming market for commercial launches after its space mission failed.

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This marks a major setback in efforts to launch commercial vehicles in space. A plume of smoke surrounded the rocket's fiery wreckage as could be seen in the footage. A video from the launch event showed spurts of water shot toward that fiery spot to put out the blaze.

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Space One in a statement said that a self-destruct order was sent shortly after launch. Following Kairos rocket explosion, Canon Electronics Inc shares to plunged by 13 percent immediately striking their lowest level in 13 years. The Kairos rocket was carrying a government satellite, Space One informed.

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The space vehicle, named Kairos that implies “the right moment," in ancient Greek, was scheduled for launch on March 9 but operators were forced to postpone it after a vessel was found offshore. The launch had been delayed four times earlier as well before being finally launched on Wednesday.

Also read: Space stocks jump up to 7% after government approves 100% FDI

The 59-foot, four-stage solid-fuel rocket, was set to mark a historic milestone by placing a satellite into orbit. This accomplishment by a Japanese private company still remains incomplete with the failure of this mission.

Tokyo-based  Space One that is credited with developing Kairo was set up in 2018, following investments from major Japanese companies that included Canon Electronics, IHI, Shimizu and major banks.

The National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan which is a government organisation leads the main space exploration missions. The agency has been renamed as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It is equivalent of NASA in the US or ISRO in India. 

(With agency inputs)

 

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Published: 13 Mar 2024, 10:13 AM IST
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