Japan's Record Altitude Marked for Hybrid Rocket

Science Society

Noshiro, Akita Pref., Sept. 19 (Jiji Press)--A hybrid rocket developed by a team including researches from Japan's Kanagawa University lifted off on Sunday, reaching an estimated altitude of some 10.7 kilometers, a Japanese record for the type of launch vehicle touted for its low cost and safety advantages.

The rocket lifted off from a launch pad on the coast of Noshiro, Akita Prefecture, northeastern Japan. The country's previous record altitude for a hybrid rocket was an estimated 8.3 kilometers marked in 2013.

A hybrid rocket is free from the danger of an explosion or environmental damage as it is powered by a less flammable propellant. The team's rocket employs a method where acrylonitrile butadiene styrene resins are combusted with nitrous oxide.

The rocket is about 4 meters high and has about 15 centimeters in diameter and weighs about 32 kilograms. The team's previous rocket, which was 1 meter shorter than the latest one, reached an altitude of 6.2 kilometers.

The team received technical assistance from a group of craftsmen in Tokyo that provided bobsleds to Japan's National Defense Academy and Olympic team.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press