Thursday, April 25

Space One rocket explodes seconds after launch in Japan

The first rocket launched by the Japanese start-up Space One exploded Seconds after taking off on Wednesday, declaring its ambition to become the country’s first private company to put a satellite into orbit.

THE Kairos A solid-fuel rocket was launched just after 11 a.m. local time and caught fire less than ten seconds later, live broadcasts of the launch showed. The explosion left behind a large plume of smoke and sparked a fire in a nearby forest that firefighters were working to put out.

The 60-foot-long rocket weighs 23 tons and was launched from the Kii spaceport in Wakayama Prefecture on Japan’s main island, according to the company’s website.

It is not clear what caused the explosion or if anyone was injured. Space One did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday afternoon.

This is a developing story.