Daily Archives: January 23, 2020

Even in Japan, a private company launches a rocket into space

It has also happened in Japan: a private company successfully launched a rocket into space and is the first, of course, in the country of the rising sun. A video published on YouTube shows the launch phase from the rocket itself. This successful launch shows how much the space sector, at least the rocket launch sector, is becoming in many parts of the world of primary importance for the private sector after being essentially of public interest only.

It was the third attempt by Interstellar Technologies to launch its experimental rocket called Momo-F3. The latter was able to take off smoothly from a site near the town of Taiki, the northern island of Hokkaido.

Four minutes after the launch, the rocket already managed to reach a maximum altitude of 113.4 kilometers, essentially passing the Earth’s atmosphere and entering space after passing the Kármán line. It then descended back to Earth and plunged into the Pacific Ocean at a distance of about 37 kilometers from the launch site.

The first launch attempt was made in 2017 when Japanese technicians tried to launch into space Momo-1. However, there was a technical problem in telemetry and the launch was interrupted 66 seconds after takeoff. The second attempt took place in the summer of last year and resulted in a failure with the rocket explosion a few seconds after takeoff.

The third attempt was instead successful although even the latter can be considered a bit troubled considering the continuous cross-references and problems, such as those related to a cryogenic valve, that technicians had to solve before the actual launch.