Huge fireball as space flight start-up’s rocket explodes seconds after take off

A rocket crashed back down to earth only six seconds after taking off following an engine failure.

The bottom of the rocket was engulfed by a fireball after hitting the ground in the Taiki, Hokkaido prefecture in Japan.

TV footage showed the 10-metre rocket being launched into the air, before it stopped abruptly and crashed back down with a bump.

It was reportedly filled with ethanol and liquid oxygen.

Nobody was injured, but an investigation has been launched into the failure.

The rocket was developed by Japanese start-up company Interstellar Technologies, which aims to provide affordable commercial space flights.

The company’s president Takahiro Inagawa has apologised for the failure.

Interstellar Technologies launched their first rocket in July 2017.

It reached about six miles into the sky but then broke apart.

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