Japan’s commercial rocket company failed to send a rocket to outer space on Saturday due to engine failure, according to Japan Today.
After lifting off and reaching an altitude of 13 kilometers, the rocket was reported to have found an abnormality with its onboard computer, which triggered the engine shutdown.
The MOMO-4 rocket, developed by Intersatellite Technology, is a small experimental liquid rocket with a total length of 10 meters and a diameter of 50 centimeters. The takeoff weight is about 1.1 kilograms.
According to the company, the rocket can reach a maximum height of 120 kilometers. It was loaded with a low-frequency sound sensor developed by Kochi University of Technology to monitor natural disasters.
Part of the payload carried by the rocket can be recycled via the parachute onboard. But the MOMO-4 type was not designed for launching satellites, the company said.
Founded in 2013, the Hokkaido-based company is Japan’s first private enterprise to attempt to launch a rocket independently. This is the fourth time that the company tried to send its rocket into space after failing twice.
The company’s third launch in May was a success, which launched the vehicle to an altitude of over 100 kilometers – a distance beyond the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and space.