Japanese commercial rocket explodes seconds after launch | WORLD
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Japanese commercial rocket explodes seconds after launch

Space One's Kairos rocket explodes after liftoff from a launch pad in Kushimoto, Wakayama prefecture, western Japan, Wednesday, March 13, 2024. Kyodo News via The Associated Press

Japanese commercial rocket explodes seconds after launch

Tokyo-based startup Space One on Wednesday said it was investigating why its Kairos rocket burst into flames just after lifting off on its inaugural voyage. The rocket launched from Space Port Kii in western Japan and was carrying a government satellite, according to the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center. If the launch had been successful, the company would have been the first private Japanese business to put a satellite into orbit.

Why did the craft explode? Space One Director Mamoru Endo told reporters that the rocket self-destructed after its systems detected an abnormality. No injuries were reported, and the local fire department extinguished the blaze after the explosion. The rocket launch had originally been scheduled for March 9 but was delayed because a ship was located in restricted waters near the launch site.

Dig deeper: Listen to Jeff Palomino’s report on The World and Everything In It podcast about the U.S. Space Force.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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