Japanese private rocket launch terminates early due of communication failure


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Capitalism in space: The first launch of the first privately-built and funded Japanese suborbital rocket was terminated early today because of a communications failure.

The rocket’s developers, Interstellar Technologies, said they aborted the launch after about 80 seconds and it landed about 8 kilometers (5 miles) offshore. The aim had been to launch the rocket, called “Momo,” to an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles), but it only traveled about 30-40 kilometers (19-25 miles).

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3 comments

  • Edward

    You have accidentally linked to the Moon Express article rather than the Interstellar Technologies one.

  • Edward

    From the article: “The launch of a rocket by a private Japanese venture was cut short after liftoff Sunday due to a communications failure.

    This is one of the reasons why there was so much doubt that commercial space companies in the US could be successful. More than just the rocket has to work, a lot on the ground has to work, too. When NASA signed the initial Commercial Orbital Transportation Services contracts, only Orbital Sciences had been a successful commercial rocket operator, and that was with small rockets.

    Guidance, navigation, and control also have to work, once in orbit. SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft had a minor glitch in GNC, earlier this year, causing a one-day delay in the delivery of cargo to the ISS. This was another area of concern to those who thought that commercial space companies would be unable to accomplish much in space.

    This lack of confidence in capabilities was why finding funding was difficult in the early days of commercial space companies. Now that non-governmental entities are having successes in launching, navigating, and rendezvous there is more confidence in commercial space.

    This is Japan’s first try with commercial rockets, and it is going about as well as early US attempts. I think the Japanese are on their way to having their own commercial rockets. If Interstellar Technologies has its way, she will eventually have her own commercial rockets carrying passengers for space travel.

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