Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) new rocket failed its first test flight, issuing a destruct command after it’s second stage ignition was unsuccessful.
Although the mission started off strong, 5 minutes and 27 seconds after lift-off, the command was sent for the rocket to separate and the second ignition to start.
However, at this point the rocket – called the H3 launch vehicle – was dropping in velocity, and it was assumed that the second stage ignition was to blame.
Not long after this, the destruct command was sent, and the rocket was destroyed in the air.
The explosion destroyed not only the launch vehicle, but also a satellite that was on board called the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-3 (ALOS-3), an optical satellite would have delivered high resolution satellite images of Japan.
This was JAXA’s second attempt at the launch of the spacecraft, with the first attempt earlier in February being aborted due to an electrical system issue.
Originally published by Cosmos as The Japanese space agency blew up their new rocket just after launch
Jacinta Bowler is a science journalist at Cosmos. They have a undergraduate degree in genetics and journalism from the University of Queensland and have been published in the Best Australian Science Writing 2022.
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