Today, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced that a small weather rocket S-520 was successfully tested with a new engine.
The rocket was launched at the Uchinoura Space Center, Kagoshima Prefecture. The S-520 measures approximately 9 meters in length and weighs about 2.6 tons. The engine generates shock waves by burning methane or oxygen. The rocket was able to reach a height of 168km during tests.
JAXA is currently collecting data using the S-520 to develop a supersonic ramjet motor. This technology will allow the rocket engine to be ten times smaller in the future.