Japan space startup aims to compete US rivals within years

Japan space startup aims to compete US rivals within years
A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft sits on launch pad 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida before an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station in this picture taken March 1, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 15 May 2019

Japan space startup aims to compete US rivals within years

Japan space startup aims to compete US rivals within years

TOKYO: A Japanese startup that launched a rocket into space last month plans to provide low-cost rocket services and compete with American rivals such as SpaceX.
Interstellar Technology Inc.’s unmanned MOMO-3 rocket reached 113.4 kilometers in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean during its May 4 flight.
Company founder Takafumi Horie said Wednesday it plans to launch a first orbital rocket within the next few years. He says a low-cost rocket business in Japan could accommodate scientific and commercial needs in Asia.
Japan’s government-led space programs have demonstrated top-level technology, but the country has fallen behind globally due to high cost.