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First launch from Japan’s private spaceport postponed over security issues

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Tokyo: The first launch of the Japanese Kairos-1 rocket, owned by the Space One company and placed at a private space station, Spaceport Kii, in the Japanese Wakayama prefecture, has been postponed, the officials said during the launch broadcast on Saturday.

Initially, the rocket launch was scheduled for 11:01 local time (02:01 GMT); however, following the countdown, the rocket did not move, and the launch was delayed for 16 minutes, until 11:17. The next attempt did not succeed either, and the officials said that the launch would be rescheduled.

The launch has been postponed due to the vessel entering a water area considered a high-risk zone regarding the launch, Wakayama Governor Shuhei Kishimoto told Japanese media reporters.

The Kairos-1 rocket, which is a medium-size solid fuel spacecraft of 18 metres in length and 23 tonnes in weight, was carrying a small satellite, which should have been placed into orbit and become the country’s first satellite launched exclusively by the efforts of private business.

The satellite is capable of partially replacing those satellites, which are currently collecting data on North Korean military objects as well as examining their systems in case of breakdown, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported, citing space authorities.

The Space One company intends to carry out up to 30 space launches per year by 2030, which would contribute to expanding commercial opportunities in space.

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