Rocket developed by Japan startup in flames after liftoff

June 30, 2018
Rocket developed by Japan startup in flames after liftoff
A Japan's privately developed rocket, MOMO-2, is in flames after the rocket failed to liftoff in Taiki, northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, Saturday, June 30, 2018. According to Kyodo News, the launch failed Saturday, as the rocket crashed to the ground and burst into flames seconds after liftoff, its developer said. (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)

A rocket developed by a Japanese startup company burst into flames seconds after a failed liftoff Saturday in northern Japan.

The MOMO-2 rocket, developed by Interstellar Technologies, was launched in Taiki town on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost main island. It was supposed to reach as high as 100 kilometers (62 miles) into space.

Television footage showed that the 10-meter (33-foot) pencil rocket lifted only slightly from its launch pad before dropping to the ground, disappearing in a fireball. Footage on NHK public television showed a charred rocket lying on the ground.

The incident caused no injuries.

Interstellar Technologies president Takahiro Inagawa said he believes the rocket suffered a glitch in its main engine.

He apologized for the failure, and said his team would collect the debris to analyze the problem and improve the rocket.

A Japan's privately developed rocket, MOMO-2, is in flames after the rocket failed to liftoff in Taiki, northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, Saturday, June 30, 2018. According to Kyodo News, the launch failed Saturday, as the rocket crashed to the ground and burst into flames seconds after liftoff, its developer said. (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)

Saturday's failure was the second after the rocket's first launch last July.

The project was started in 2005 by maverick entrepreneur Takafumi Horie, founder of internet service provider Livedoor, who was joined by science journalists and other space fans in an effort to develop a small, lightweight and low-cost rocket to send information satellites into space.

Rocket developed by Japan startup in flames after liftoff
This combination of photos shows the launch of a Japan's privately developed rocket, MOMO-2, from left to right, fails in Taiki, northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, Saturday, June 30, 2018. According to Kyodo News, the launch failed Saturday, as the rocket crashed to the ground and burst into flames seconds after liftoff, its developer said. (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)

Explore further: Japan aborts mini-rocket mission shortly after liftoff

Related Stories

Japan launches satellite to study black holes

February 17, 2016

Japan successfully launched a jointly developed space observation satellite on Wednesday tasked with studying mysterious black holes, the country's space agency said.

Recommended for you

Giant flare detected on a pre-main sequence M star

November 13, 2018

Using the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), astronomers have identified an energetic flare displaying quasi-periodic pulsations on the pre-main sequence M star NGTS J121939.5-355557. The newly detected flare is one of ...

Galaxies like Russian dolls

November 13, 2018

Jairo Méndez Abreu and Adriana de Lorenzo-Cáceres, researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), have discovered a peanut-shaped structure in the inner bar of a double-barred galaxy close to the Milky ...

Scientists capture the sound of sunrise on Mars

November 9, 2018

Scientists have created the soundtrack of the 5,000th Mars sunrise captured by the robotic exploration rover, Opportunity, using data sonification techniques to create a two-minute piece of music.

Aging a flock of stars in the Wild Duck Cluster

November 8, 2018

Do star clusters harbor many generations of stars or just one? Scientists have long searched for an answer and, thanks to the University of Arizona's MMT telescope, found one in the Wild Duck Cluster, where stars spin at ...

16 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

KBK
5 / 5 (4) Jun 30, 2018
Whoopsie-doo....
rrwillsj
3.4 / 5 (8) Jun 30, 2018
All space programs have suffered these excruciating failures. It's the nature of the beast. Rockets are complicated assemblies of intricate devising, with many potential failure points.

The real measure of the man will be after the analysis of the failure. When it is discovered that some seemingly insignificant detail was bungled or forgotten. Will Takafumi Horie be able to rally his technical support while keeping his investors confident of future success?

"Free Enterprise" rarely achieves success without special privileges, taxpayer subsidies and monopolistic protectionism.

I mean I suppose it's possible? Lots of ideologue theorists who have never had to cover a payroll, vehemently insist that it could be possible.

Perhaps Professor Pangloss could show us the way to such economic perfection?
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.8 / 5 (11) Jun 30, 2018
All space programs have suffered these excruciating failures. It's the nature of the beast. Rockets are complicated assemblies of intricate devising, with many potential failure points.

The real measure of the man will be after the analysis of the failure. When it is discovered that some seemingly insignificant detail was bungled or forgotten. Will Takafumi Horie be able to rally his technical support while keeping his investors confident of future success?

"blah"

I mean I suppose it's possible? Lots of ideologue theorists who have never had to cover a payroll, vehemently insist that it could be possible.

Perhaps Professor Pangloss could show us the way to such economic perfection?
Hey, willis? Just a suggestion - maybe you want to restrict your posting to when you actually have something to say?

Besides just the usual 'Hey I'm willis and I am posting now'

Thanks
Da Schneib
4 / 5 (4) Jun 30, 2018
Looks like a flameout immediately after launch. You can see this in the third frame above, where the vapor plume is clearly absent at the tail of the rocket. I don't know if this is a solid- or liquid-fueled rocket; if it was liquid-fueled this looks like a vapor lock in the fuel or oxidizer feed; if it was solid-fueled, then a defect in the solid fuel unit is indicated.
antigoracle
1.7 / 5 (12) Jun 30, 2018
Software error....rocket thought it had reached altitude and cut it's engine.

This guy should go build Kim Jong's rockets.
HeyDude
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2018
I keep waiting for a meme using Ralph Wiggins from The Simpsons with the caption, "I Build Rockets."
rrwillsj
2.8 / 5 (11) Jun 30, 2018
hey otto baby! Did you place your vote yet for whether "Friedrich Nietzsche was a syphilis damaged, accident prone, drug abusing dunderhead or was a congenital imbecilic accident-prone, drug abusing dunderhead?

After considering the odds? I voted for both as those conditions are not incompatible when you consider the limited evidence now available.

I wonder what dossier was collected by Himmler's SS about "Nietzsche? Next Thule Society seance you attend? Please ask him for me.

Thanks, buddy!
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (8) Jun 30, 2018
After considering the odds? I voted for both as those conditions are not incompatible when you consider the limited evidence now available
No, you favored your ignorant opinions over the conclusions of actual experts who have studied the topic for months.

That's how fucking sick you are.
Da Schneib
4 / 5 (4) Jun 30, 2018
Having seen video, the rocket was liquid fueled. I was correct about the flameout; and I still think it was vapor lock. But a fuel or oxidizer pump failure (assuming it had such pumps) is another possibility. In any case, looks like they've got some engineering to do.

This Gizmodo article has three good videos: https://gizmodo.c...27262348
Da Schneib
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 30, 2018
I found one of the videos, with a bunch of guys in a hard site wearing safety gear, contrasted with a bunch of spectators wearing ordinary clothing (one woman holding her baby girl) was particularly evocative.
HeloMenelo
3.9 / 5 (7) Jul 01, 2018
Software error....rocket thought it had reached altitude and cut it's engine.

This guy should go build Kim Jong's rockets.

Leave the rocket science to the scientists, your tree swinging chatter only good for to motivate your own sockpuppets swinging behind you ;)
rrwillsj
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 01, 2018
Okay otto, as you please. I will apply the same methodology used by thse "experts'. And apply it to your comments.

La-dee-dadi-hummm-humm.

Okay done!

So my diagnosis is otto.... That you are a congenitaly defective syphilitic accident-prone dunderhead.

Congratulations, otto. The betting was actually running against you getting that high a score!
GaryB
5 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2018
Mr Japanese guy:

Keep going! Everyone blows up a launch pad or two on their way to space.
TrollBane
5 / 5 (4) Jul 01, 2018
Rocket science remains hard, even six decades after Sputnik.
Edenlegaia
not rated yet Jul 02, 2018
A startup, huh....likely to try using cheap components, rush schedules and possibly people to prove itself good enough to enter the competition.
I wouldn't be surprised to hear something about overwork, awful work conditions and the such.
Thorium Boy
2 / 5 (2) Jul 05, 2018
Why not just copy Space-X or NASA, just like they did everything else the last 50 years?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.