Video: Space One rocket explodes after liftoff from Japan private launch pad | Space

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A Space One Co. satellite-carrying rocket exploded Wednesday shortly after liftoff from a spaceport in western Japan, dashing hopes for an attempt that would have made the company the first private Japanese firm to get a satellite successfully into orbit.

The company’s 18-meter-long Kairos rocket failed in its launch from Space Port Kii in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan’s first commercial launch site. It was announced shortly after that “flight termination measures” had been implemented.

Local firefighters were dispatched to the scene. Police said there have been no reports of casualties so far.

Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter shows smoke and flying debris as the Kairos rocket explodes soon after liftoff from Space Port Kii in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, on March 13, 2024. (Kyodo)

The rocket exploded in midair around five seconds after liftoff, as fragments believed to be from the projectile were scattered around the area and the scene was blanketed by white smoke.

The government satellite that was on the rocket is believed to have been destroyed in the blast.

The cries of the many people who had gathered at an observation venue located approximately 2 kilometers southwest of Space Port Kii could be heard upon the announcement that the launch had failed.

Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter shows the Kairos rocket lifting off from Space Port Kii in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, on March 13, 2024, shortly before it exploded. (Kyodo)

“It’s a great shock,” said Yoko Okada, a 17-year-old high school student who aspires to a space-related career. “It’s a shame I couldn’t see the rocket, but I hope they persevere and don’t give up.”

Jun Ueyama, 45, an official from the city of Gobo said, “I’m feeling sad. I took a day off (to come see this).”

The launch was initially scheduled for Saturday but was delayed after the company discovered the presence of a ship in…

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