TOKYO, March 7 (AP) Japan’s space agency deliberately destroyed a new H3 rocket on Tuesday after the second stage of the country’s first new rocket series in more than 20 years failed to ignite.
Three weeks after another glitch halted the launch, the H3’s failure was a setback for Japan’s space program — and possibly its missile detection program as well — and disappointed space fans who supported Tuesday’s retry.
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The rocket carried an advanced Land Observation satellite, whose main mission is Earth observation and data collection for disaster response and map making, and an experimental infrared sensor developed by the Department of Defense to monitor events, including missile launches. military activity.
Amid cheers from fans and local residents, the white-headed H3 rocket blasted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan and soared into the blue sky. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said it followed the planned orbit and the second stage separated as planned but failed to ignite.
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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said it issued the order to destroy the rocket because it had no hope of completing its mission. Officials are investigating the cause of the malfunction and are expected to present preliminary findings at a news conference later Tuesday.
It was the second failure in six months since a small Epsilon series of solid-fuel rockets designed to launch scientific satellites failed in October.
The launch of the H3 has also been delayed by more than two years due to delays in engine development. During a launch attempt in February, an electrical failure after the main engine ignited caused the launch to be aborted before liftoff, narrowly saving the rocket.
The H3 rocket, Japan’s first new series of rockets in 22 years, was developed by JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at a cost of 200 billion yen ($1.47 billion) as the successor to Japan’s H-2A rocket, which will be launched soon 50th time.
The H3 is about 60 meters (196 ft) long and can carry a larger payload than the 53-meter (174 ft) long H-2A. But by simplifying its design, manufacturing and operations to win more commercial launch customers, its launch costs have been cut by about half to about 50 million yen ($368,000). The hydrogen fuel main unit is newly developed to use fewer parts by changing the way of combustion.
The space launch business is increasingly competitive, with major players including SpaceX and Arianespace. (Associated Press)
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