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First H3 launch fails
Posted: Sat, Mar 11, 2023, 11:20 AM ET (1620 GMT)
Japan's H3 rocket failed in its first launch Monday night. The rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 8:37 pm ESR (0137 GMT Tuesday), and the vehicle's first stage, along with two solid-fuel boosters, appeared to perform as planned. However, controllers were unable to confirm that the rocket's second-stage engine ignited as telemetry showed the vehicle losing speed. Those controllers later sent a destruct signal to the rocket. Neither the Japanese space agency JAXA or vehicle manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries provided additional details about the failure. Japan's science minister said her ministry will work with JAXA to investigate the failure "as promptly and thoroughly as possible." The H3 is Japan's next-generation launch vehicle, intended to replace the existing H-2A at a much lower cost per launch.
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