Japan rocket engine explodes during test

On July 14, the test of the Japanese rocket engine ended with an explosion. This was announced by the representative of the Ministry of Science and Technology Naoya Takegami.

Consequences of the explosion of the Epsilon S rocket engine . Source: @ots_min

The purpose of the tests was to burn the engine of the second stage of the Epsilon S rocket. It is an updated version of Epsilon: a solid-fuel carrier designed to launch scientific satellites. It has a four-stage design and can carry over 1400 kg of cargo into low Earth orbit and 600 kg of cargo into a sun-synchronous orbit. 

The burning was carried out at a test site located in the northern part of Akita Prefecture. According to the statement of the Japanese Aerospace Agency (JAXA), a failure occurred at the 50th second after the start of the test, which led to an explosion. On the web, you can find photos of eyewitnesses showing a column of black smoke stretching to the sky. Fortunately, no one was injured during the incident.

The engine explosion has become another link in the chain of failures that have plagued JAXA in recent years. Recall that the first launch of Epsilon S in October 2022 ended in failure. And in March 2023, the debut flight of the new H3 liquid rocket also ended in an accident.

It is also worth noting that this is not the first accident of a rocket engine during tests this year. Earlier, the tests of the Centaur stage and the BE-4 engine ended with explosions. And ESA reported the unsuccessful test of the power unit for the Vega-C rocket.

According to https://phys.org

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