Japanese space startup, Interstellar Technologies Inc., has set its sights on a groundbreaking milestone – the launch of its first orbital rocket. The company plans to send its Zero Rocket into orbit by 2025, with static fire tests scheduled for later this year. This ambitious project aims to meet the increasing demand for small satellite launch capacity, not only in Japan but worldwide. Interstellar believes that the Zero Rocket will revolutionize the market, offering a payload capacity of 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) to low Earth orbit.
Originally slated for a 2020 launch with a payload capacity of 220 pounds (100 kilograms), Interstellar adjusted its plans based on market demand and decided to build a heavier and more capable version of the rocket. Founded in 2005, Interstellar has been a driving force in commercial space activity in Asia, becoming the first company in the region to reach space with a liquid propellant rocket. While Chinese startups have recently accomplished orbital launches, Interstellar is determined to make its mark by utilizing liquid biomethane fuel produced from livestock manure. Additionally, the company has its sights set on developing a larger launch vehicle, Deca, which is projected to take flight in the 2030s.
Japanese Space Startup Interstellar Technologies Aims for First Orbital Rocket Launch in 2025
Japanese space startup, Interstellar Technologies Inc., has set a target for its first orbital rocket launch. The company plans to launch its Zero Rocket in 2025, with static fire tests scheduled later this year as part of its test program.
Zero Rocket Specifications and Capabilities
The Zero Rocket will measure 82 feet (25 meters) in length with a diameter of 5.6 feet (1.7 meters), making it slightly larger than Rocket Lab’s Electron vehicle. It will have the capability to lift approximately 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) to low Earth orbit. The launch will take place from Japan’s Hokkaido Spaceport.
Meeting the Demand for Small Satellite Launch Capacity
Interstellar Technologies aims for the Zero Rocket to meet the increasing demand for small satellite launch capacity, not only in Japan but also worldwide. Keiji Atsuta, Interstellar’s business development general manager, stated that they believe this rocket will change the market.
Initially, the Zero Rocket was planned to launch around 2020 with a payload capacity of about 220 pounds (100 kilograms). However, the company reassessed its plans based on market demand and decided to build a heavier and more capable version.
Interstellar Technologies’ Background and Future Plans
Interstellar Technologies Inc. was founded in 2005 when commercial space activity was underway in the United States but not yet in Japan. The company claims to be the first commercial company in Asia to reach space with a liquid propellant rocket, using its MOMO-F3 suborbital launcher.
In addition to the Zero Rocket, Interstellar Technologies is also planning to develop a larger launch vehicle called Deca, which is expected to fly in the 2030s. Website renders of Deca show clustered engines and grid fins, features designed to assist with rocket reusability and enable soft landings on Earth.
In conclusion, Interstellar Technologies Inc. is advancing towards its first orbital rocket launch with the Zero Rocket, scheduled for 2025. With its increased payload capacity and plans for future projects, the company aims to meet the growing demand for small satellite launch capacity both in Japan and worldwide.