Tokyo (EFE).- The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) sent a destruction order to its H3 rocket on Tuesday minutes after it took off for its maiden flight due to an apparent failure in its secondary engines, after a previous attempt to Release suspended last February.
Developed jointly by JAXA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the rocket took off from the Tanegashima Space Center, in Kagoshima (southwest), at 10:37 in the morning on Tuesday (1:37 GMT), however, minutes after takeoff, its secondary engines failed to ignite, so JAXA issued a self-destruct order for it.
In a press conference after the new attempt, JAXA noted that the reason why the secondary engines did not work is still unknown and noted that they are investigating the cause.
We are seeking international competitiveness and maintaining independence with a rocket that is easy to operate, competitively priced, and reliable for launching satellites,” JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa explained at the press conference.
The failed launch, which means the Asian country failed to launch successfully last year for the first time in 18 years, also had some impact on shares of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which fell 0.37% at the end of trading. on the tokiota parquet
In the previous attempt, on February 17, Japan’s new flagship rocket was unable to make its maiden flight after its complementary boosters did not ignite, so it did not take off, although the main engines of its first phase They did turn on correctly.
The launch of the H3 rocket, delayed several times in recent years, generated great expectations for its weight in the Japanese aerospace program and the next generation of space development.
The rocket’s maiden flight was originally scheduled for late March 2021, but the date was pushed back by about two years due to problems with its newly developed first stage LE-9 engine and replacement parts.
The H3, which is called to replace the H2-A and H2-B models used by JAXA to put satellites into orbit, is the first space rocket to use in its first phase an engine (the aforementioned LE-9) that works with an expander cycle, a system that improves efficiency in the use of fuel.
Its cost is also about 50% less than its predecessor, at about 5 billion yen (about 34.4 million euros, with a greater satellite launch capacity.
The rocket, marking the first renewal of the country’s flagship launch vehicle in two decades, is due to launch the DAICHI-3 Earth observation satellite into orbit, which will be used to monitor the situation in disaster-affected areas.
With this new model, Japan would seek to increase requests for national and international satellite launches thanks to the high success rate of H2-A, which has only failed once in 46 launches since 2001.