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Watch this Japanese rocket explode just seconds after launch

A Japanese rocket exploded just seconds after launching on its maiden flight on Wednesday. The vehicle was uncrewed and no one was hurt in the incident.

Footage of the launch, which was supposed to deploy a government test satellite, shows the 18-meter-tall Kairos rocket erupting into a huge fireball just five seconds after getting airborne. Burning debris falling to the ground also caused a blaze back at the launch site.

BREAKING: Space One rocket explodes during launch from southern Japan

— BNO News (@BNONews) March 13, 2024

The rocket’s maker, Tokyo-based Space One, said in a statement: “The launch of the first Kairos rocket was executed, but we took a measure to abort the flight.” However, details of what prompted it to take such drastic action have yet to be revealed.

Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning “the right moment,” but the mission proved anything but for the disappointed team. A successful mission would have seen Space One become the first private Japanese company to deploy a satellite in orbit. The failure is a setback for Japan’s efforts to enter the commercial satellite launch market in which SpaceX, Rocket Lab, and others are enjoying growing success. But the Space One team will take what it learned from Wednesday’s failed attempt and try again.

It hasn’t all been bad news for the country’s space efforts. In February, for example, Japan’s space agency, JAXA, successfully launched its flagship H3 rocket, though admittedly, the route to flight was anything but smooth. A month earlier, it managed to get a spacecraft onto the moon, becoming only the fifth country to achieve a soft landing there. The nation has also sent a number of astronauts to the International Space Station using NASA hardware, with the most recent one returning safely to Earth on Tuesday following a six-month stay in orbit.

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Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
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