The first private Japanese rocket explodes five seconds after taking off

Kairosthe private rocket developed by Space One and the first to try to take off in Japanhas exploded at five seconds to begin takeoff and when it was at a height of between 50 and 100 meters. As explained by the company, the rocket began its self-destruct mechanism due to a technical problem.

The launch took place this morning at 3:01peninsular time, from a platform in the town of Kushimoto west of Japan. Space One had scheduled it for this Wednesday after delaying the launch 4 times in recent weeks. Kairos was a rocket not tripulated designed to put satellites into orbit and on this inaugural flight it carried an experimental satellite of the Japanese government.

The company has not yet explained what was the technical problem that led to the explosion of the rocket. “We have carried out the launch, however, the rocket's flight has been suspended. The details are currently being investigated,” Space One said in a statement. The explosion did not cause any injuries, but a fire that has been quickly extinguished.

In a later press conference, Masakazu Toyoda, president of Space One, added that “the rocket interrupted its flight after considering that the fulfillment of its mission would be difficult.” He also stated that the launch is a highly automated maneuver and that the rocket can begin its self-destruction when it detects major failures in the flight path, speed or control system. “We don't use the word 'failure', because each trial brings new data and experience for another challenge“Toyoda said.

Space One is scheduled to launch 20 rockets during this decade. Kairos is not a large rocket. Measure 18 meters high and 1.35 meters in diameter, weighs 24 tons and can transport a payload of 250 kilograms to low Earth orbit. Its size is approximately double that of the Miura 1 of the Spanish company PLD Space which made its first flight last October.