Japan successfully launches solid fuel rocket

According to the Japanese Exploration Agency, or JAXA, the sounding rocket launched on Sunday morning from the Uchinoura Space Center on the country's southernmost main island, Kyushu.

The rocket - about the size of a utility pole - and its payload fell into the sea off Uchinoura.

Japan's troubled space efforts suffered another setback today with the aborted launch of a tiny rocket meant to put a microsatellite into orbit.

The first flight of a tiny experimental Japanese rocket, touted as the world's smallest booster created to launch a satellite in orbit, failed Sunday (Jan. 15), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency officials said. This prticular configuration was equipped in three stages and should be able to put 4 kg CubeSat satellite into a 180 km × 1500 km orbit with an inclination of 31° after reaching speed of 27000 km/h. As reported by the Japan Times the information dropout happened around 20 seconds into the dispatch and the premature end happened three minutes after liftoff. "All we can do is just analyze the data we got until communications were disrupted".

Unfortunately for JAXA, the maiden flight of this adorably tiny vehicle ended in failure. "I hope they won't be discouraged and will try another launch, because demand for launches of minisatellites is growing worldwide". JAXA has no further plans to launch a rocket of this size, it said. He said Japan should invest more in fundamental research and development so it will not get left behind.

JAXA used commercially available components found in home electronics and smartphones for the rocket to demonstrate how the cost of placing satellites in orbit could be reduced. It was created to transmit images of Earth's surface for about a month before re-entering the atmosphere and burning up.

Curbing costs for rocket launches is important as more emerging economies aim to put communication and weather satellites in space and Japan faces stiff competition with US and European rivals such as Arianespace.

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