The Tokyo University Space Institute launched Japan's first scientific satellite on Friday (September 25th) but the experiment failed when the fourth stage of the MUE rocket did no ignite.
LV Rocket on launching pad. (2 shots)
LV Zoom in same
SV Count Down
LV TILT UP rocket up and away across sky
Initials PAF/PN/APK/2350 PAF/PN/CO/0.19
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Background: The Tokyo University Space Institute launched Japan's first scientific satellite on Friday (September 25th) but the experiment failed when the fourth stage of the MUE rocket did no ignite. The project cost over half a million dollars (GBP200,000 sterling).
The launching, from Cape Uchinoura in the South East of Kyushu Island, was originally scheduled for August 24th. It was postponed ten times before Friday's launch - because of adverse weather conditions or mechanical defects.
The satellite was being launched by a 47.3 ton MUE rocket. The first two stages functioned correctly after lift-off, but the third stage - a small auxiliary rocket - worked three times faster than expected and the fourth stage failed to ignite. The Kashima Wave Experimental Station, which was tracking the rocket, announced that it had failed to reach the earth's orbit.
Professor Akio Tamaki, the Chief Scientist of the Tokyo Space Institute, said he regretted this failure and that it would take another year to prepare a second project. They would, however, re-double their efforts to check every conceivable fault and defect in an attempt to make the launch a successful one.