Japan tried to launch the Epsilon rocket, but destroyed it 10 minutes later

Japan tried to launch the Epsilon rocket, but destroyed it 10 minutes later

The Japanese space agency JAXA declared the self-destruction of the Epsilon-6 rocket at a signal from the flight control centre 10 minutes after the launch.

The sixth unmanned Epsilon series carried one large and eight small satellites in orbit to demonstrate innovative technologies. JAXA aired a live launch from the Utinoura Space Centre, located in Kagoshima prefecture, but was interrupted after a while due to a problem.

The Epsilon solid-fuel missiles have been successfully operated by Japan since 2013; the option is smaller than the liquid-fuel missiles previously used and is a successor to the M-5 solid-fuel model, which was discontinued in 2006 because of high cost. JAXA describes the new missile as a development that lowers the threshold of entry into space in an era in which everyone is capable of actively exploiting outer space.

The RAISE-3 was to be in orbit for at least a year as part of the mission "Demonstrating Innovative Satellite Technologies 3", and universities, research institutes and companies were invited to use their technologies in the satellite. For example, the University of Tokyo had prepared a pulse plasma engine. In addition to the RAISE-3 mission, eight microsatellites of various applications had been launched into space.

The last unsuccessful launch in Japan took place in 2003, when the launch of spy satellites to monitor North Korea was interrupted, and the H2A missile failed.