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Privately developed rocket to be launched on July 29

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Takahiro Inagawa, chief executive officer of Interstellar Technologies Inc., at a press conference on Thursday in Tokyo

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — An observation rocket developed by start-up Interstellar Technologies Inc. is scheduled to blast off from a launch site in Taiki, Hokkaido, in the morning of July 29, the company said Thursday.

It will be the first time for a rocket developed by a private company almost alone to make it into space.

The launch will mark a “major milestone” in the shift from state-led space development, Takahiro Inagawa, chief executive officer of Interstellar Technologies, told a press conference in Tokyo.

The move will “warm up the industry,” celebrity entrepreneur Takafumi Horie, who has a stake in the company, said.

The 10-meter rocket using ethanol as fuel is expected to reach an altitude of 100 kilometers about four minutes after the launch and fall into the sea in about six minutes and 40 seconds, according to the company.

Costs for launching a unit of the Momo rocket after its commercialization are estimated at tens of millions of yen, about 10 percent of costs for an observation rocket of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Interstellar Technologies is also developing a rocket to send small satellites to space.Speech

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