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Japan: Epsilon Rocket Engine Carrying 8 Satellites Explodes During Test, No One Injured

The Noshiro Testing Center in Akita Prefecture is developing the Epsilon S as the successor to the current Epsilon series to enhance the country's competitiveness in the growing satellite launch market, according to Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

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Japan's Epsilon rocket engine exploded during a test on Friday, an official said. It has been reported that the incident took place within one minute after the ground test for the second-stage engine began.

As per Japanese media reports, no one was injured in the explosion.

The Epsilon-6 was ordered to self-destruct in 2022 after it deviated from its intended trajectory.

It has been reported that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency sent the command at 9.57 am after the Epsilon-6 rocket lifted off from Uchinoura Space Center near the southern tip of the southwestern main island of Kyushu around 9.50 am.

About the Epsilon rocket series

According to the Japanese space gency, the Epsilon S has been built by the Noshiro Testing Center in Akita Prefecture as the successor to the current Epsilon series in an attempt to enhance the country's competitiveness in the growing satellite launch market.

Back in 2013, the first rocket in the series was blasted off and there were successful launches of five models.

Today, it was carrying eight satellites developed by private and public entities, including universities.

The failure led the agency to postpone the launch of the Epsilon S from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2024 as it uses the same fuel tank as the Epsilon-6.

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