Japanese startup Interstellar Technologies Inc. (IST) has revealed high-definition videos of the unsuccessful June 30 launch of its MOMO-2 rocket. The new footage, captured by industrial high-speed cameras, shows the failure in unprecedented detail.
The 33-foot (10-meter) tall MOMO-2 fell to the ground and exploded shortly after its launch from a test site near the town of Taiki on Japan’s island of Hokkaido. IST recently released a high-definition multi-camera video of the launch, and now the company has released to the public another recording of the failed liftoff—this time, shot by high-speed cameras at the rate of 1,000 fps.
Takahiro Inagawa, IST’s CEO, told Astrowatch.net that verifying those videos from high-speed cams leads to the initial assumption that the cause of the failure was in the side jet thruster.
“IST is currently conducting reproduction experiments of the malfunction. Later, IST plans to upload the telemetry and other data found onto GitHub to share the knowledge of cause investigation,” Inagawa added.
The history of IST reaches back to 1997, when a group of space enthusiasts created a hobbyist organization aiming to develop a compact and convenient rocket , as well as to build a prototype engine to power a launch vehicle aloft. The company plans to become the first Japanese company to send a rocket into space.
Despite two setbacks, the company is currently working toward its next mission—MOMO-3. However, although the exact date of the launch has not been disclosed yet, Inagawa recently revealed that MOMO-3’s flight should be expected within months.