Japan’s Rocket Explosion Leaves Spectators at Loss for Words; Rocket Enthusiast: ‘Failure Bound to Happen at Beginning’

The Yomiuri Shimbun
White smoke is seen from a rocket launch observation area at 11:05 a.m. on Wednesday in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture.

KUSHIMOTO, Wakayama — Spectators of the launch of Japan’s first private-sector rocket KAIROS, developed by Space One were left speechless when they saw it explode into pieces in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, on Wednesday.

Space One, a Tokyo-based startup, said flying termination measures were taken for the rocket.

At an observation site located about two kilometers away from the launch site, people were heard sighing after an announcement reported that the launch failed a few minutes after liftoff.

A 44-year-old rocket enthusiast who has witnessed almost 30 different rocket launches drove overnight from Saitama Prefecture to watch the liftoff. “Failure is bound to happen at the beginning [for rocket development],” he said. “I hope they use this as a springboard to success in the future.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Wreckages believed to be part of the KAIROS rocket are seen at 11:26 a.m. on Wednesday in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture.