Hokkaido, May 4: A Japanese aerospace startup company on Saturday managed to put a rocket in outer space before it landed harmlessly in the Pacific Ocean.
Founded in 2013 by Horie, former Livedoor Co. president, Interstellar Technology launched an unmanned rocket Momo-3 from its test site in Hokkaido which reached about 113 kilometers (68 miles) in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean after 10 minutes of flight time. It is considered to be the first privately developed rocket to reach outer space.
Momo-3 is 9.9-meter-long with a diameter of 50 centimeters. It weighs 1,150 kilogram and powered with liquid fuel, according to Japan's daily The Asahi Shimbun. Takafumi Horie, a major stakeholder in Interstellar Technologies Inc tweeted " Outer space is distant. But our rocket managed to get there, reaching an altitude of about 113 km.
Interstellar Technologies further plans to develop a new type of rocket named Zero to put a 100-kg satellite in orbit at an altitude of 500 km. Competition to develop small rockets is intensifying globally. As demand for launches of small satellites grows and the performance of parts improves, the size of satellites is becoming smaller.
It also aims to develop low-cost commercial rockets to carry satellites to space.
Momo 1 was launched in July 2017. About one minute after the launch, communication with the rocket broke off, and it crashed into the sea from an altitude of 20 km.Momo 2 was launched in June 2018. Immediately after that launch, however, its engine stopped functioning and the body exploded as it fell out of the sky. (UNI)