Setback for Japan – Rocket engine explodes during test

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Setback for Japan – Rocket engine explodes during test

In Japan, a rocket motor exploded on Friday during a test as part of the country’s space program. A spokesperson said no one was injured in the incident at the Noshiro missile testing center in Akita prefecture.

Footage (see tweet below) shows flames shooting out the side of a test facility owned by Japan’s JAXA space agency before the entire building caught fire and the roof was blown off.

Serious setback for space ambitions
The detonation occurred about a minute after testing of the rocket’s second stage engine began, an official from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said.
The explosion of the Epsilon-S engine counts as another setback for the country’s space ambitions.

With the development of the Epsilon-S, JAXA aims to improve the country’s competitiveness in the growing satellite launch market. The first rocket of the Epsilon series launched in 2013. This was followed by successful launches with five other models before an Epsilon 6 rocket had to self-destruct after taking off last year because it deviated from its intended trajectory.

Japan’s attempt to launch a newly developed H3 launcher into space with a satellite also ended in self-destruction in March. The reason for this was that the motor of the second stage rocket had not ignited.

Source: Krone

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