The newly developed H3 didn’t make it far – after a launch that had been postponed several times, the maiden flight of the carrier rocket quickly came to an end.
Shortly after the launch of the newly developed Japanese H3 launcher, the Jaxa space agency triggered the self-destruct of the rocket. Previously, it could not be confirmed whether the second rocket stage had ignited on Tuesday’s maiden flight.
The successor to the reliable H2 launcher was Japan’s first new development of a large launcher in around 30 years and lifted off from the Tanegashima spaceport in the south-west of the island kingdom. The start had previously been postponed several times.
Japan wants to gain a stronger foothold in the lucrative and increasingly competitive satellite launch business with the H3. The H3 rocket program is also seen as important for Japan’s participation in future space development, including the US-led Artemis lunar exploration program.
The first launch was originally planned for the 2020/2021 financial year, but was postponed due to difficulties in developing a new type of main engine.