Japanese Rocket 'Kairos' Self-Destructs Shortly After Launch

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.13 - 2024 10:38 AM CET

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube
The Japanese company Space One's rocket 'Kairos' self-destructed seconds after launch.

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Space One, a Japanese company, experienced a setback when its rocket named 'Kairos' self-destructed seconds after launch on Wednesday. The event thwarted the company's ambition to become the first in Japan to successfully place a satellite into orbit.

The 18-meter-long, solid-fuel rocket exploded in mid-air, producing a significant cloud of smoke and flames, with debris scattering around the launch area. This incident was reported by Reuters, marking a moment of disappointment for the innovative enterprise.

Masakazu Toyoda, the chairman of Space One's board, stated "The rocket terminated its flight after it was decided that the mission would be difficult to achieve."

The company has yet to disclose what specifically triggered the rocket's self-destruction mechanism, and plans for a future launch attempt remain unannounced.

Space One explained that rocket launches are largely automated, requiring only about ten ground personnel. The rocket is designed to self-destruct if it detects any deviations in its flight path, speed, or control systems that could potentially endanger people on the ground.

Despite the setback, Toyoda emphasized the value of the attempt, refraining from labeling it a failure and highlighting the importance of gathering new data and experiences for future endeavors.

Shuhei Kishimoto, the governor of Wakayama where the launch took place, confirmed that there were no injuries or sustained fires near the launch pad following the incident.

The 'Kairos' rocket was set to carry an experimental government satellite, intended as a temporary replacement for intelligence satellites if needed. Initially scheduled for launch on Saturday, March 9, the attempt was delayed due to a ship entering the restricted sea area.

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