Japan’s First Private Rocket, ‘Kairos,’ Explodes Within Seconds After launch

Japan’s First Private Rocket, ‘Kairos,’ Explodes Within Seconds After launch

Japan’s first privately developed rocket, Kairos, exploded soon after its takeoff. Made by Space One, the solid-fueled rocket was seen catching up flames seconds after its inaugural launch at around 11 a.m. on March 13, Wednesday. With Kairos, Space One aimed to become the first firm in the country to send a satellite into orbit. However, the 18-meter (59 ft) rocket exploded, resulting in smoke, fire, and elements of the rocket scattered near the launch pad, as seen in the launch video.

Originally planned to take place on March 9, Space One delayed the launch due to the discovery of a ship in the risk area. It was supposed to be evacuated, and thus, the launch was postponed.

Fortunately, no injuries or damages because of the explosion have been reported, and the fire has been extinguished. As per a report from Reuters, the launch of the rocket was an automated process, and only a few officials were present near the explosion site. The cause of the explosion of ‘Kairos,’ which in Greek stands for ‘the right or critical moment,’ is being investigated by Space One.

Kairos was supposed to put the satellite into orbit within 51 minutes of its launch. Although Japan is a smaller player in the outer space race, Kairos would have been the first satellite launched by a private company in Japan. The National Space Development Agency of Japan is a government body that leads the space exploration missions in the country. It has been renamed to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which holds the same value and functions as NASA in the United States.

Founded in 2018, Space One is a startup that Canon Electronics Inc., IHI Aerospace Engineering Co., Shimizu Corp., and the Development Bank of Japan are funding. As a result of this mission failure, the shares of Canon Inc. dropped by 13%, the lowest in over a decade. 

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Shubhangi Srivastava

Shubhangi is a budding professional with a love for storytelling and an eye for detail. A journalism student and content enthusiast currently working at Tecuy Media. She is eager to bring freshness to the writing field and explore the world through her words.

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