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Japan's private rocket reaches outer space for first time

Tokyo, AP | Updated : 05 May 2019, 08:09 AM
Interstellar Technology Inc. says the unmanned MOMO-3 rocket has exceeded 100 kilometres (60 miles) in altitude
Interstellar Technology Inc. says the unmanned MOMO-3 rocket has exceeded 100 kilometres (60 miles) in altitude

A Japanese aerospace start up funded by a former internet maverick has successfully launched a small rocket into space. Interstellar Technology Inc. says the unmanned MOMO-3 rocket has exceeded 100 kilometres (60 miles) in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean.

The company says it proves that a rocket using mostly commercial parts can reach the space.

The rocket, about 10 meters (32 feet) long and 50 centimetres (1.5 feet) in diameter, weighs about 1 ton. The rocket is capable of putting payloads into orbit.

The company, founded in 2013 by former Livedoor Co. President Takafumi Horie, aims to develop low-cost commercial rockets to carry satellites into space.

Saturday’s success came after two failures in 2017 and 2018. It is Japan’s first privately developed rocket to reach the outer space.

First Published: Sunday, May 05, 2019 08:09 AM
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