TOKYO, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Japan's space agency on Sunday failed to send a satellite into orbit aboard an experimental mini-rocket due to communication failure.
The modified sounding rocket SS-520, to be one of the world's smallest rockets to put an object in orbit, took off at 8:33 a.m. (2333GMT) on Sunday from the Uchinoura Space Center in Japan's southwestern Kagoshima Prefecture.
However, the ignition of the second stage was aborted soon after a glitch was discovered in its communication system and data showing the rocket's condition could no longer be received, said the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in a press release.
The rocket, with its payload, fell into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Uchinoura, said JAXA.
The rocked was scheduled to lift off on Wednesday morning, but was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.
With a length of 10 meters, diameter of 0.5 meter and weight of 2.6 ton, the rocket is to send a geological survey and communication experimental satellite to space.
Developed by the University of Tokyo, the TRICOM1 satellite weighs about 3 kilogram and has a length of 35 centimeter.
The total cost of developing and launching both of the rocket and satellite is only around 500 million yen (4.37 million U.S. dollars), much lower than that of launching other JAXA satellites.
With the aim to demonstrate a relatively inexpensive launch concept, the Japanese space agency hopes the launch of its new mini-rocket will encourage private-sector efforts to develop satellites, said local media.