Latest in Science

Image credit:

Japan's experimental mini rocket launch ends in failure

It was supposed to break new ground, but only highlighted problems with the space program.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 15, 2017
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Kyodo News via Getty Images

Japan's space program troubles aren't over yet, apparently. The country's Aerospace Exploration Agency reports that the launch of its miniature SS-520 rocket ended in failure. The first stage went off without a hitch, but communications problems prevented the second stage from igniting and carrying a microsatellite, TRICOM 1, into orbit. While rocket failures certainly aren't unheard of (just ask SpaceX), the incident is a black eye given what Japan wanted to achieve.

SS-520 was billed as the world's smallest-ever satellite launch vehicle, measuring just 35 feet long and 20 inches wide -- it was supposed to be a record-setter that made a case for tiny satellites. After all, it's considerably more efficient than the giant rockets and satellites that were the standard until recently. This certainly doesn't mean that the mini rocket dream is dead, but JAXA will definitely want to make sure that its next launches go according to plan.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

The redesigned Tesla Model S interior swaps in a steering yoke

The redesigned Tesla Model S interior swaps in a steering yoke

View
NASA's asteroid-sampling OSIRIS-REx probe will head back to Earth in May

NASA's asteroid-sampling OSIRIS-REx probe will head back to Earth in May

View
Discord bans Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets  | Engadget

Discord bans Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets | Engadget

View
iOS 14.4 rolls out with Bluetooth audio monitoring

iOS 14.4 rolls out with Bluetooth audio monitoring

View
WhatsApp now requires biometric authentication for PC and web access

WhatsApp now requires biometric authentication for PC and web access

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr