Japan launches H3 rocket, destroys it over 2nd-stage failure - Albuquerque Journal

Japan launches H3 rocket, destroys it over 2nd-stage failure

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s space agency intentionally destroyed a new H3 rocket minutes after its launch Tuesday because the ignition failed for the second stage of the country’s first new rocket series in more than two decades.

Coming three weeks after an aborted launch due to a separate glitch, the H3’s failure was a setback for Japan’s space program — and possibly for its missile detection program — and a disappointment for space fans who were rooting for Tuesday’s retrial.

The H3 rocket with a white head blasted off and soared into the blue sky from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan as fans and local residents cheered. It followed its planned trajectory and the second stage separated as designed, but the ignition for it failed, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said.

JAXA officials apologized for the failure, and said it sent a command to destroy the rocket about 14 minutes after liftoff as there was no hope for it to complete its mission.

Yasuhiro Funo, JAXA director for launch implementation, said the second stage and its payload fell into the deep sea off the eastern coast of the Philippines. He said the rocket, which was not going to enter the targeted orbit while carrying a lot of fuel, was unsafe and had to be destroyed.

No damages or injuries were reported from the destruction of the rocket or its falling debris.

The rocket was carrying an Advanced Land Observation Satellite, or ALOS-3, tasked primarily with Earth observation and data collection for disaster response and mapmaking, and an experimental infrared sensor developed by the Defense Ministry that can monitor military activity including missile launches.

There is no plan for an alternative satellite launch to replace the earlier generation of ALOS, said Katsuhiko Hara, Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology minister. He did not say if or how the delay could affect disaster and missile detection capability.

The failure is the second in six months since a smaller Epsilon-series solid-fueled rocket designed to launch scientific satellites failed in October.

The H3 launch had also been held up more than two years because of an engine development delay. During a launch attempt in February, an electrical glitch after the main engine ignition aborted the launch just before its liftoff and narrowly saved the rocket.

Further delay is expected, but JAXA officials said analyzing the malfunction and rebuilding trust comes first.

“Our top priority is to do everything we can to find the cause and regain the trust in our rockets,” said JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa at a joint news conference. “We need to figure out what we should do to successfully achieve the next launch.”

Yamakawa said global competitiveness is still important. “Delays and additional costs are both burdens, but we will achieve international overall competitiveness from the perspectives of cost and user friendliness in delivering satellites.”

The H3 rocket — Japan’s first new series in more than 22 years — was developed at a cost of 200 billion yen ($1.47 billion) by JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a successor to Japan’s H-2A rocket, which is due to retire after its upcoming 50th launch.

The H3, about 60 meters (196 feet) long, can carry larger payloads than the 53-meter (174-foot) H-2A. But its launch cost has been slashed approximately in half to about 50 million yen ($368,000) by simplifying its design, manufacturing and operation in an effort to win more commercial launch customers. The hydrogen-fueled main engine is newly developed and uses fewer parts by altering the combustion method.

The space launch business has become increasing competitive, with major players including SpaceX and Arianespace.

Home » Business » Most Recent Biz News » Japan launches H3 rocket, destroys it over 2nd-stage failure

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Fed official: Bank rules under review in wake of ...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve's ... WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve's bank supervisors informed Silicon Valley Bank's management as early as the fall of 2021 of risks stemming from ...
Bankman-Fried charged with paying $40M bribe to China
Most Recent Biz News
NEW YORK (AP) -- FTX founder ... NEW YORK (AP) -- FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was charged with directing $40 million in bribes to one or more Chinese officials to unfreeze ...
Stocks are mixed as some calm remains on Wall ...
NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are ... NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are mixed in relatively quiet trading on Tuesday, and Wall Street is regaining some cool at the tail end ...
U.S. renewable electricity surpassed coal in 2022
Electricity generated from renewables surpassed coal ... Electricity generated from renewables surpassed coal in the United States for the first time in 2022, the U.S. Energy Information Administration announced Monday. Renewables ...
David Batista named branch manager with Yellowstone Landscape
ABQnews Seeker
BRIEFCASE: NMSU grad has been with ... BRIEFCASE: NMSU grad has been with the landscape company for 17 years.
Honda recalls more than 330,000 vehicles due to mirror ...
Health & Safety
Honda is recalling more than 330,000 ... Honda is recalling more than 330,000 vehicles because heating pads behind both side-view mirrors may not be bonded properly, which could lead to the ...
WaFd's Lonnie Corral promoted to senior VP
ABQnews Seeker
BRIEFCASE: Corral will continue to lead ... BRIEFCASE: Corral will continue to lead the nine branches he oversees in southern New Mexico.
Asian shares mostly rise on relief over US bank ...
TOKYO (AP) -- Asian shares were ... TOKYO (AP) -- Asian shares were mostly higher on Tuesday as investors got some relief from worries over troubled U.S. banks with a planned ...
How a Maine power struggle made its way into ...
ABQnews Seeker
A closer look at how Avangrid's ... A closer look at how Avangrid's problems in Maine played a role in the PRC's deliberations.