• Directory of Taiwan

Australia abandons Taiwan’s TiSPACE rocket project after 3 failed launches

Sept. 16 attempt in South Australia ended with fire

The Hapith I.

The Hapith I. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Australia’s Southern Launch announced on Wednesday (Sept. 22) it would no longer try and launch the Taiwan Innovative Space Company’s (TiSPACE) Hapith I rocket following three failed attempts.

The Taiwanese company obtained a launch permit from the Australian government in August, but three launches scheduled for Sept. 10, Sept. 15, and Sept. 16 all ended in failure, the Liberty Times reported. Strong winds led to the cancellation of the first event, while the second time, a system did not come online.

The third attempt sparked a fire, Southern Launch said in a news release. “During ignition, the launch vehicle suffered an internal fault causing the vehicle to catch alight.” The blaze did not extend beyond the launch pad, and no people were put at risk, the company said.

Following an inspection of the Hapith I, Southern Launch and TiSPACE both concluded that “we won’t continue with any further launch attempts of this particular vehicle,” the Australian company said.

The move to South Australia followed an earlier unsuccessful launch in Taitung County in Feb. 2020 that caused concern from residents.