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Video: Japanese Space One rocket launch ends in explosion

Video: Japanese Space One rocket launch ends in explosion
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Startup Space One hoped to become the first private company in Japan to launch a satellite into orbit. However, its attempt ended in a fiery explosion just a few seconds after liftoff.

The Kairos rocket took off from the Kii launch center in Wakayama, a prefecture south of Osaka, owned by the company. Space One's director Mamoru Endo told reporters at a conference that the rocket's automated system detected an anomaly five seconds after liftoff and triggered the self-destruct function. The company has not yet determined the nature of this anomaly and will investigate the incident to find answers.

Kairos carried a payload for the Satellite Intelligence Center, which collects and analyzes information from satellite images for the Japanese government. This satellite was intended to be an alternative to an existing Japanese satellite that monitors military facilities in North Korea and missile launches in the country, as reported by Engadget.

Space One, with the support of Canon and aerospace manufacturer IHI, aims to eventually offer satellite launch services using small rockets, which, according to the company, "offer greater flexibility in planning than larger rockets." The company also aims to provide "the world's shortest time from contract signing to launch, as well as the most frequent launch schedule in the world," all while minimizing the costs of deploying satellites into orbit.

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