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Japan minister hopeful for expanding space activities

  • May 7, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 2:28 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, May 7 (Jiji Press)–Takuya Hirai, Japanese minister for space policy, expressed hope on Tuesday for the expansion of the country’s space activities following the successful liftoff of a small observation rocket by a Japanese startup.

“It was good that the third time was the charm” for the rocket, Momo-3, whose successful blastoff came after the launches of its two preceding models ended in failure, Hirai told a press conference.

“The creation of a business of launching small, low-cost rockets by private-sector companies will help upgrade and vitalize Japan’s space activities as a whole,” he added.

Hirai also said the government will back up as much as it can the activities of space venture companies.

On Saturday, Interstellar Technologies Inc., based in Taiki, Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, launched Momo-3 in the first successful liftoff of a rocket developed single-handedly by a private-sector company in Japan. The single-stage rocket 10 meters in height and 50 centimeters in diameter uses ethanol as fuel.

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