Space… the final frontier. These are the misadventures of Interstellar Technologies – who haven’t quite made it out of the atmosphere. On Saturday, Japan’s hopes of having their first privatised space travel mogul literally crashed and burned down in flames, when the voyage of the MOMO-2 unmanned rocket ended mere moments after its launch. The spacecraft, a project of civilian startup Interstellar Technologies, was going to give Japan hope for space travel outside of the confines of government funding and supervision. Now, not so much.
Interstellar Technologies founder Takafumi Horie is no stranger to spectacular public failure. After starting up the massively popular ISP Livedoor, he had a series of unsuccessful ventures which eventually culminated in his two year jail stint for accounting fraud. Still, the company struck an optimistic note, saying that the launch facility was intact and that they would continue with their program. It also helps that there were no major injuries sustained in the failed launch.