Japan to Secure a Position in Private Space Ventures Thanks to Interstellar7 May 2019
Japan is hopeful to have an independent space business in the private sector finally. The hopes were strengthened on the 4th of May 2019 when Interstellar Technologies, a Japanese startup launched a space rocket successfully. This may put Japan in the same category as China and the US in the coming years when matters space instruments are being handled.
The unmanned ten meters long and one-ton heavy rocket, Momo-3, took off in Hokkaido at 5:45 am. It arrived in space at a 113km altitude, taking 4 minutes and then descended into the Pacific Ocean. In the rocket was a payload of about 20 kg which had a device that was being used to measure gravitational forces during the launch. The president of Interstellar showed a lot of enthusiasm during the launch and declared a historical phase in the building of space machines.
More about Interstellar
Interstellar Technologies was formed in 2013 by a team of investors with Takafumi Horie, a startup pioneer, being a member of the team. The company currently has a great team of engineers, and around 20 of them were involved in the building of the Momo-3 rocket. This was not the first attempt to launch the rocket. Back in 2017, the team had taken their first trial which failed. They tried again in 2018 but were not successful either. This made them do a bit more research hence noticing the eras in the previous models. On the 30th of April, they postponed a launch to rectify some of these flaws which led to a successful launch on the 4th of May.
An Overview of the Rocket Industry in Japan
In the past years, the rocket industry was mostly under a government organization, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. However, with the recent launch, Interstellar has proven that the private sector might be the focus of the next rocket projects in Japan. The company has not only proven to have done what it takes to make this possible but also uses cost-effective approaches on their launches which saves them as much as a million dollars per launch. They build their rockets within their facilities using basic equipment from the local hardware.
The Momo-3 was a bit small making it only useful in experiments. However, Interstellar is working on a more advanced rocket going by the name, Zero. One of the rocket’s purposes will be launching small satellites in the orbit. Its launching date is set for 2023. It may cost the company close to ten times more to have Zero ready, but there is no looking back for Interstellar.