(ORDO NEWS) — Japan’s Epsilon launch vehicle failed on October 12th. The operators ordered her to self-destruct a few minutes after takeoff. As it turned out later, there were problems in the process.
Epsilon-6 launched from the Uchinoura Space Center on the island of Kyushu around 9:50 am. It carried eight satellites developed by private and public organizations, including universities. All are now lost.
What happened to the rocket
- At a press conference following the failed launch, the agency said the decision to send the self-destruct order was made after the missile had deviated from its intended course . The operators realized that she would not be able to put the satellites into orbit.
- According to the space agency, the rocket fell into the sea. There were no reports of property damage resulting from the self-destruction.
- JAXA also said it will continue to investigate the cause of the breach that led to the mission abort and will establish a task force to assist in the investigation.
- JAXA President Hiroshi Yamakawa said the mistake would certainly affect some plans, but stressed that the agency would “do everything possible to restore confidence” in him.
The last time JAXA gave the command to self-destruct was in November 2003, when the launch of the H2A booster was aborted after one of the two boosters failed to separate.
As for the Epsilon series rockets, all five previous launches were successful.
It was the first Epsilon rocket to carry private satellites.
Epsilon-6 is 26 meters long and weighs 95.6 tons. Japanese rockets are relatively expensive to launch, but reliability is considered one of their main advantages.
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