The lift-off that never was.
The maiden flight of Japan’s new Epsilon rocket failed to materialise for the second time this month.
The damp squib was broadcast live on the Internet in both Japanese and English leaving JAXA, the Japanese space agency, in a state of acute embarrassment.
The rocket, when operational, has some interesting advantages for the industry.
It can be assembled quickly, perform its own system checks and be launched, or not, by conventional computers,
The failure of Epsilon to blast-off could hurt Japan’s chances of getting a slice of the booming multi-billion dollar satellite launch industry.