01/07/2018 10:24 SAST | Updated 01/07/2018 10:24 SAST

Rocket Explodes Seconds After Lift-Off In Japan

The 10-metre rocket was developed by a privately owned startup company, which has now racked up two failed attempts.

A rocket has exploded seconds after lift-off in northern Japan.

The MOMO-2 rocket, developed by privately owned startup company Interstellar Technologies, was launched early on Saturday in Taiki on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island.

The rocket was designed to reach up to 100km into space, but the footage shows it lifting only slightly from its launch pad before dropping to the ground.

The 10-metre pencil rocket then explodes in a fireball.

No-one was injured.

Interstellar Technologies president Takahiro Inagawa said he believes the rocket suffered a glitch in its main engine.

The lift-off failure was the second — following the rocket's first launch last July, launch control lost contact with the rocket a minute into its ascent.