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Japanese private rocket launched successfully

  • July 3, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 10:50 p.m.
  • English Press

Taiki, Hokkaido, July 3 (Jiji Press)–A startup in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido successfully launched a small observation rocket on Saturday.


The Momo7 rocket, which is about 10 meters long and 50 centimeters in diameter, was lifted off from a launch site in the town of Taiki in Hokkaido at 5:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m. GMT) and reached an altitude of 100 kilometers, with engine combustion lasting for about two minutes as planned, according to Interstellar Technologies Inc.


The rocket then fell into the Pacific Ocean at 5:55 p.m., at a point some 73 kilometers southeast of the launch site. A rocket reaching 100 kilometers above Earth is recognized as being in outer space.


This was the second time for a rocket developed independently by a private company in Japan to reach outer space.


The first such achievement was made by the Momo3 rocket of Interstellar Technologies in May 2019.


“The mission was successful as all planned operations were performed normally, and we were able to obtain necessary data,” Interstellar Technologies President Takahiro Inagawa told a press conference.


Interstellar Technologies tried to launch Momo7 in July last year, but canceled the launch at the eleventh hour due to a defect in its engine ignition device. The company later revamped Momo7, including its engine system and electronic equipment.


The company, which seeks to mass-produce affordable small rockets, hopes to win many orders following the successful launch of Momo7. It also aims to utilize the success to develop a rocket to put a satellite into orbit.


Following the success of Momo3, the launches of the Momo4 and Momo5 rockets ended in failure.


The Momo6 rocket, whose launch has been postponed due to issues at a sponsor, is slated to be lifted off this summer at the earliest.

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