HomeWorldAsiaSpace one's Kairos rocket explodes during inaugural launch

Space one’s Kairos rocket explodes during inaugural launch


Tokyo, 13 March 2024 (TDI): Japan’s Space One encountered a setback today as its small solid-fuel rocket, Kairos, exploded just seconds into its inaugural launch. The incident occurred during the firm’s attempt to become the first Japanese company to deploy a satellite into orbit.

The explosion, which took place five seconds after liftoff, resulted in a large cloud of smoke. The fragments of the rocket and sprays of firefighting water near the launch pad on the Kii Peninsula in western Japan rose above.

Space One’s president, Masakazu Toyoda, confirmed that the rocket had self-terminated its flight. This was done after encountering difficulties in achieving its mission. The cause of the explosion is currently under investigation.

Despite the setback, Space One remains optimistic, with Toyoda emphasizing that each trial provides valuable data and experience for future endeavors. This commitment reflects the resilience of Japan’s space industry amid challenges.

The failed launch comes at a time when Japan’s space industry is receiving increased support from the government and investors. National security concerns and rising demand for commercial satellites drive it, positioning Japan as a key player in the global space race.

Space One aims to offer “space courier services” and plans to launch 20 rockets annually by the late 2020s. This ambitious goal underscores Japan’s determination to compete in the highly competitive space market.

Although the exact launch costs of Kairos remain undisclosed, Space One aims for competitiveness against its American rival, Rocket Lab. This reflects the company’s strategic approach to market positioning and cost efficiency.

The incident has impacted stock prices, with Canon Electronics and IHI experiencing declines following the failed launch.

Japan’s space endeavors continue despite setbacks, with the recent successful launch of the H3 rocket and ongoing efforts to bolster the domestic aerospace industry. Furthermore, Space One is committed to ensuring the safety and reliability of its rockets.

The company has pledged to conduct a thorough investigation into the explosion to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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