Japan’s space agency JAXA suffered a launch failure during the maiden flight of its flagship H3. The rocket was carrying an Earth observation satellite known as the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-3 ( ALOS-3.) The satellite was going to be used for cartography, regional observation, disaster monitoring, and resource surveying. The strap-on boosters and the first stage of the rocket performed as expected, but the failure occurred when the second stage engine failed to ignite. The cause is so far unknown.
— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) March 7, 2023
The H3 medium-lift launch vehicle was designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and JAXA. The rocket is powered by a liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen fueled first and second stage as well as two strap-on solid rocket boosters that separate shortly after launch. Japan now joins the United States, Russia, China, and the European Space Agency as the only nations to operate liquid hydrogen-fueled engines.
The velocity is dropping like a stone. It's either failed or the telemetry is wrong. pic.twitter.com/oyllKvXja8
— Chris Bergin – NSF (@NASASpaceflight) March 7, 2023