Interstellar Technologies, Inc. (Japanese: インターステラテクノロジズ（株）, Hepburn: Intāsutera Tekunorojizu (kabu)) is a Japanese NewSpace company aiming to eventually build a launch vehicle for smallsats under 100 kg. It is a rocket spacelaunch company developing the MOMO[clarification needed] (also Momo, etc.) launcher. Interstellar's stated goal is to reduce the cost of access to space.
In 2017, it became the first Japanese company to launch a privately-developed space rocket, though the launch was unsuccessful. A subsequent test in 2019 was successful at taking a 20 kg payload on a suborbital trajectory to the edge of space. As of 2017[update], the company planned to develop a rocket by 2020 that would be capable of launching small satellites into orbit. As of 2018, the president is Takahiro Inagawa.
As of June 2018, the company had raised about ¥30 million (about US$250,000) in crowdfunding.
The group that became Interstellar Technologies was created as a hobbyist organization in 1997. Interstellar Technologies predecessor company was established in 2003 by Takafumi Horie, who previously founded the ISP Livedoor. It was established to develop rockets to launch small satellites. It became Interstellar Technologies in 2005 (some sources name the year 2013 as the founding year of Interstellar Technologies). Interstellar plans to lower the cost of access to space, and is attempting to have the first privately developed rocket in Japan to reach space.
In March 2018, Interstellar entered into a business alliance with Nippon Travel Agency and Space Development Corp. In May 2018, Interstellar received an investment of ¥19.8 million from Kushiro Manufacturing.
In response to the problems encountered in the engine nozzle and ignitor during the fifth launch and in the first attempt of the sixth launch (June and July 2020 respectively) Interstellar Technology began development of a full system upgrade. During a video conference on June 1st 2021 they announced the end of the upgrading process that focused on engine system, airframe equipment, avionics, and ground support equipment  resulting in new nozzles, new ignitors, an increase in dry mass by 40 kg, in propellant mass by 30 kg, in length by 0.2 m and in thrust by 2 kN. Due to the heavy modifications performed the company started referring to the previous version of the rocket as MOMO v0, while the upgraded one is now being called MOMO v1.
The flight test program began in mid-2017:
|Flight No.||Date (UTC)||Launch site||Suborbital apogee or achieved altitude||Outcome|
|1||30 July 2017||Taiki, Hokkaido, Japan||20 km (12 mi)||Failure|
|Rocket failed after launch. Contact was lost 66 seconds after launch, triggering an emergency engine shutdown. The rocket reached an altitude of 20 km (12 mi). This represented the first privately funded space rocket to be launched in Japan. The launch cost about ¥50 million (US$440,000).|
|2||30 June 2018||Taiki, Hokkaido, Japan||Failure|
|Four seconds after liftoff, the rocket came crashing back down onto the pad, exploding violently.|
|3||04 May 2019||Taiki, Hokkaido, Japan||113.4 km (70.5 mi)||Success|
|The first commercially developed Japanese rocket to reach the Kármán line, the internationally recognized edge of space. The rocket landed in the sea. The countdown to the launch used the singing synthesizer software Hatsune Miku.|
|4||27 July 2019||Taiki, Hokkaido, Japan||13 km (8.1 mi)||Failure|
|Failed (onboard computer detected a problem and shut down the engine early) shortly after liftoff. The rocket reached altitude of 13 km and fell into sea 9 km offshore. The rocket carried some experiments, for example a heat-resistant paper plane to be released from space, and a low-frequency sound sensor developed by Kochi University of Technology to observe sound created by lightning, typhoons and volcanic eruptions.|
|5||14 June 2020||Taiki, Hokkaido, Japan||11.5 km (7.1 mi)||Failure|
|About 35 seconds into flight, shortly after reaching max-Q, sparks were observed near the engine nozzle. About thirty seconds later, ground controllers issued an abort command which caused the rocket to tumble and fall into the ocean.|
|6||3 July 2021||Taiki, Hokkaido, Japan||99 km (62 mi)||Success|
|First flight of the improved version MOMO v1. It reached an apogee of 99 km and landed in the sea 10 minutes after liftoff. The rocket was named Screw Rocket by the main sponsor of the launch, Sunco Industries Co., and carried an infrasound sensor from the Kochi University of Technology. A single rose from Hana-Cupid was also launched on this flight. Despite the MOMO unit's number, this was the sixth flight of the sounding rocket.|
|7||31 July 2021||Taiki, Hokkaido, Japan||92.3 km (57.4 mi)||Success|
|Second flight of the improved version MOMO v1. Despite the MOMO unit's number, this is the seventh flight of the sounding rocket. The company aims to reach space for the third time. Featuring a special, red paint job as well as the slogan "Love and Freedom and TENGA" painted on the side, the rocket was named TENGA Rocket after the sponsor, sex toy manufacturer Tenga Co., Ltd., which is also the first ever single sponsor received by Interstellar Technologies. It will be carrying out payload release and recovery mission, the first time for private entities in Japan. A special masturbator outfitted with sensors will be launched along the rocket, aiding development of TENGA's namesake series development for use in space.|