H 2
Launch vehicle H 2
Launch site Tanegashima Space Centre, Tanegashima, Japan
Date/Time 1997-11-02 12:25
Description Main engine failure
Cause Fuel pipe leak
Payload MTSAT
Desired orbit Geostationary transfer orbit

 
The H2's main engine developed problems four minutes after lifting off. Officials ordered it destroyed eight minutes after takeoff because they were concerned it might go out of control. It was the first time the National Space Development Agency (NASDA) of Japan had destroyed a rocket in flight. The rocket was at an altitude of 45 km when it was blown up, and debris fell into the Pacific Ocean, the agency said in a statement.

A video of the launch showed abnormal jets of gas shooting from the rocket's main engine shortly after takeoff. This, along with flight data transmitted during the launch, provided clues about why the rocket malfunctioned: probably because of liquid hydrogen fuel flowing from cracked pipes, NASDA spokeswoman Makiko Nishihara was quoted as saying.

Launch Failures Chronology

nology