A Japanese rocket has crashed seconds after its launch. The MOMO-2 rocket burst into flames shortly after a take-off. Fortunately, no injuries were caused by the short-lived flight. The rocket was developed by Japanese start-up company Interstellar Technologies. The company aims to design and develop small, lightweight, and low-cost rockets which can send satellites into space. This flight was the second take-off for the company. The first flight was a partial success when the MOMO managed to leave the launch pad, however, one minute after launch, all communications with the rocket were lost.
The rocket’s booster managed to reach at an altitude of 12 miles before it fell down in the Pacific ocean. A video of a 10-meter high rocket launching and then crashing is a combination of tragedy and comedy both. The company is still on track to put a satellite into low Earth orbit by 2020 and aims to be able to offer satellite launches for as little as $440,000 as compared to the Japanese government that is offering the same for $1.8 million minimum. It is an ambitious and exciting goal, the fledgling company will need to go some way before it can convince the investors that it can safely deliver the payloads to space.
Company’s founder, Takafumi Horie, who has become famous in Japan for spending more than two years in prison for accounting fraud, is now facing a major blow after the crash. Horie told the reporters that the crash was unexpected. He said, “We have never seen a failure like this. We are thinking about what we can do to maintain some tie to the next step even as the future remains barely visible”. The company quickly spotted the positive part in the disaster saying that the launch caused only minor damages to the launch facilities. Takahiro Inagawa, company’s president said, “We could not accomplish what we were expected to do. I feel sorry for that. I feel that I would like to keep giving it a shot”.
The company has not released any dates for further launches, however, it seems like it will take more than a single rocket crash to destroy their plans. The MOMO-2 rocket was scheduled to launch in April 2018 but the company postponed the launch after a nitrogen gas leak was found.
The company was founded in 1997 by a group of space enthusiasts who wanted to create a hobby organization that was dedicated to developing a rocket and engine prototype.