Japanese Startup Sends Rocket Into Space

Japanese startup sends rocket into space

Japanese startup Interstellar Technologies has become the first private firm in the country to send a rocket into space.

The company launched a 10-meter-long rocket at 5:45 a.m. on Saturday from the town of Taiki in Hokkaido.

It said the rocket reached an altitude of 100 kilometers about four minutes after the launch, and ultimately reached 113 kilometers.

The firm was founded by entrepreneur Takafumi Horie.

The rocket can carry a payload of about 20 kilograms and create zero gravity for about four minutes.

The firm hopes to persuade businesses and research institutions to conduct experiments in zero gravity.

This time it is carrying observation equipment for a university.

Interstellar Technologies plans to launch another rocket in 2023 which will be able to carry small satellites, hoping to break into the satellite launching business.

The company first launched a rocket in 2017, but cut the engine when communication broke down and the controllers could not determine its position or speed.

A second launch last year ended in a fiery crash seconds after liftoff.