Japan destroys flagship rocket minutes after launch

Lazy eyes listen


Japan’s hopes of developing a cheaper alternative to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets were dashed on Tuesday when the country’s space agency was forced to destroy its flagship H3 vehicle after its second-stage engine failed.

When the rocket’s second-stage engine failed shortly after liftoff from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on Tuesday morning, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) issued a self-destruct order. It’s the second failure in less than a month, following a failed launch in February that was attributed to faulty rocket boosters.

JAXA said afterwards that it had issued a destruct command as there was “no possibility of achieving the mission.”

The H3 was carrying a payload of ground-mapping technology intended for use in disaster management scenarios that would “cover all of the land areas not only of Japan but also across the entire world,” according to Tokyo.

Keiko Nagaoka, Japan’s science minister, apologized for the “extremely regrettable” incident, saying it “failed to meet the expectations of the public and related parties.”
The H3’s failure “will have a serious impact on Japan’s future space policy,” according to Hirotaka Watanabe, an Osaka University space policy professor. Tokyo tried to position the H3 as a less expensive alternative to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 for commercial and government space launches.
Watanabe went on to say that the H3 failure would harm Japan’s “space business and technological competitiveness.”