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Japan’s Interstellar Blindsided by Devastating Momo-2 Launch Failure

By | July 2, 2018
Momo 2 rocket. Photo: Interstellar Technologies

Momo 2 rocket. Photo: Interstellar Technologies

Japanese launch startup Interstellar Technologies’ Momo-2 rocket burst into flames just seconds after its liftoff from the Taiki launch facility in Hokkaido, Japan. The Momo-2 launch vehicle was completely destroyed. The launch would have been Japan’s first privately developed rocket to reach outer space, according to the Japan Times.

Momo-2 is Interstellar’s second failed attempt after the loss of its Momo-1 rocket in July 2017. Momo-1 managed to reach a flight altitude of 100 kilometers before the mission was aborted due to a break in communications with the space craft.

Momo-2 was originally planned to launch in late April but was delayed due to a nitrogen leak. Interstellar Technology president Takahiro Inagawa said that Momo-2 probably encountered a main engine problem since the rocket lost thrust four seconds after liftoff.

Interstellar provided no additional information about plans regarding its next launch.