Japan's Space One Kairos Rocket Explodes on Inaugural Flight

Kairos Rocket Explodes on Inaugural Flight

Breaking News: Japan's Space One Kairos Rocket Explodes on Inaugural Flight

Rocket Exploded:

In a setback for Japan's space ambitions, Space One's Kairos rocket exploded shortly after its inaugural launch, attempting to make history as the first Japanese company to deploy a satellite into orbit. The 18-meter solid-fuel rocket suffered a catastrophic failure seconds after liftoff from the Kii peninsula in western Japan. The cause of the explosion remains unknown, and Space One is currently investigating. Fortunately, there are no immediate reports of injuries.

Kairos carried an experimental government satellite designed to serve as a temporary replacement for intelligence satellites in case of malfunction. Space One, founded in 2018, expressed ambitions to provide "space courier services" and aims to launch 20 rockets annually by the late 2020s.

The failed launch impacted Canon Electronics' shares, dropping more than 9%. Despite the setback, Space One claims orders for its subsequent trips, including from an overseas customer, have already been filled. The company, backed by a consortium of Japanese firms, intends to compete in the growing satellite launch market, asserting competitiveness against American rival Rocket Lab. Rocket Lab, known for its Electron rockets, has launched over 40 missions from New Zealand at approximately $7 million per flight.

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