Japan venture ends rocket launch after communications glitch

TOKYO

TOKYO (AP) — The launch of a rocket by a private Japanese venture has been cut short after liftoff due to a communications failure.

Hundreds of spectators gathered Sunday, applauding as they watched the rocket take off from a launching pad on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido.

The rocket’s developers, Interstellar Technologies, said they aborted the launch after about 80 seconds and it landed about 8 kilometers (5 miles) offshore. Entrepreneur and investor Takafumi Horie said he believed data from the test launch would prove useful.

The aim had been to launch the rocket, called “Momo,” past the atmosphere barrier, but it only traveled about 30-40 kilometers (19-25 miles).

Japanese government projects have launched more than 30 rockets.

Interstellar Technologies hopes eventually to launch rockets capable of carrying passengers for space travel.

Categories: International News