Japanese rocket falls back to Earth after launch fails

The rocket fired but the second half of the launch failed due to communication problems

Junko Fujita
Tokyo
Sunday 15 January 2017 17:22
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File image: A Japanese rocket launched by JAXA from the Tanegashima Space Center at Tanegashima, Japan
File image: A Japanese rocket launched by JAXA from the Tanegashima Space Center at Tanegashima, Japan

Japan's space agency said on Sunday it had failed to launch a mini rocket carrying a satellite into space due to failure of the communications systems.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said in a statement it had fired the SS-520 rocket at 8.33am JST on Sunday at its Uchinoura Space Center in southern Japan. JAXA said it was unable to receive data from the rocket, which has fallen back to Earth in a spot it had expected.

The rocket, about 10m (35 feet) long and 50cm (20 inches) in diameter, was carrying a 3kg (6.6 lb), 35-centimetre satellite to take images of the Earth and gather other data.

The first stage of the rocket launch was carried out but not the second, after communication problems were discovered, JAXA's spokeswoman told Reuters.

The space agency had postponed the launch of the rocket on 11 January due to strong wind.

Reuters

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