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Japan’s first private rocket forced to abort after launch

Staff Writer |
Launched with high hopes, Japan's first private-sector space rocket flight ended in failure, aborted shortly after liftoff due to a communications problem.

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According to the start-up Interstellar Technologies, its rocket, Momo, lifted off at 4:32 p.m. from a launch pad in the town, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

But about 80 seconds later in the flight, the projectile was brought to an emergency stop as an irregularity was detected in the system to send flight data.

The liftoff came a day after the originally scheduled launch date. The company was forced to postpone it due to low visibility as fog settled in the area.

The Momo is about 10 meters long and weighs about 1,150 kilograms.

The rocket, loaded with equipment to observe and test communications system in a zero-gravity environment, was aiming to reach an altitude of 100 kilometers as the first projectile developed by a private business in Japan.

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