First Private Japanese Rocket Reaches Orbit Successfully

Kyodo News via AP

Interstellar Technology Inc, is a Japanese aerospace startup founded in 2013 by entrepreneur Takafumi Horie, former Liverdoor Co. President. The startup has funded Japan’s very first commercially-developed rockets.

The previous rockets, launched in 2017 and 2018, have been failures but it looks like third time’s a charm for the company because, as of Saturday, their latest rocket successfully reached orbit.

The unmanned MOMO-3 rocket was launched from the Interstellar Technology test site in the town of Taiki, set on the main island of Hokkaido. It flew for roughly around 10 minutes and went over 60 miles (100km) in altitude before it fell back down into the Pacific Ocean.

The company’s end goal is to be able to carry small satellites into orbit at a much smaller cost than government launches and Horie has expressed his high hopes for the project during a press conference that took place in Hokkaido.

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