Takuya Hirai, minister for space policy, expressed hope Tuesday over the expansion of the country’s space activities following the successful liftoff of a small observation rocket by a startup.
“It was good that the third time was the charm” for the rocket, Momo-3, whose successful blastoff came after the launches of its two preceding models ended in failure, Hirai told a news conference.
“The creation of a business of launching small, low-cost rockets by private-sector companies will help upgrade and vitalize Japan’s space activities as a whole,” he added.
Hirai also said the government will support the activities of space venture companies as much as it can.
On Saturday, Interstellar Technologies Inc., based in Taiki, Hokkaido, launched Momo-3 in the first successful liftoff of a rocket developed single-handedly by a private-sector company in Japan. The single-stage rocket, which is 10 meters in height and 50 centimeters in diameter, uses ethanol as fuel.