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Japanese rocket explodes moments after lift-off

No-one was injured in the incident on the island of Hokkaido.

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The MOMO-2 rocket bursts into flames just after lift-off (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)

The MOMO-2 rocket bursts into flames just after lift-off (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)

The MOMO-2 rocket bursts into flames just after lift-off (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)

A rocket developed by a start-up company has exploded seconds after lift-off in northern Japan, bursting into flames.

The MOMO-2 rocket, developed by Interstellar Technologies, was launched early on Saturday in Taiki on Hokkaido, Japan’s northern-most main island.

It was supposed to reach up to 62 miles into space.

Television footage shows the 33ft pencil rocket lifted only slightly from its launch pad before dropping to the ground, disappearing in a fireball.

No-one was injured.

Interstellar Technologies president Takahiro Inagawa said he believes the rocket suffered a glitch in its main engine.

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This combination of photos shows the launch of the rocket and then the fireball as it exploded (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)

This combination of photos shows the launch of the rocket and then the fireball as it exploded (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)

AP/PA Images

This combination of photos shows the launch of the rocket and then the fireball as it exploded (Masanori Takei/Kyodo News via AP)

The lift-off failure was the second after the rocket’s first launch last July.


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