Business

Japanese startup to launch compact rocket in May after 4-month delay

Kyodo

A Japanese aerospace startup said Monday it will launch a compact rocket from Hokkaido early on May 2 following a four-month delay.

Interstellar Technologies Inc., based in the town of Taiki, Hokkaido, will launch the MOMO-5 rocket from its launch site in the town. It has set May 3 to 6 as backup dates.

The rocket measures about 10 meters in length and about 50 centimeters in diameter, and weighs about 1 ton.

The MOMO-5, designed to test its low-temperature launch capability and a navigation sensor being developed for use in its future satellite-carrying rocket, was initially scheduled to take off by Jan. 3, but the launch was postponed due to a glitch in an electronic component.

A planned public viewing has been canceled due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

The startup became the first Japanese private company to send a rocket on its own to the border between outer space and the atmosphere about 100 kilometers above sea level in May last year.

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