Honda recently launched into the aerospace sector with a project for a reusable launcher similar to SpaceX’s Falcon 9s. The Japanese manufacturer would now move up a gear: if we are to believe the sources close to the file, Honda would have started the design of its rocket at the end of 2019. The first prototype of the engine of this rocket would even already be finalized, to the point that Honda has already started the first static ignition tests!
In the very, very distant future, Honda even imagines participating in the construction of the first Japanese lunar base.
A video unveiled during a videoconference shows this engine in action, but the quality of the image (in black and white) does not allow to know much more. Atsushi Ogawa, one of the research directors at Honda, says however that the group has made enormous progress since the launch of the project. Honda’s future launcher will be able to carry a maximum load of one tonne, which will prove to be more than enough for putting satellites into orbit.
Eventually, Honda hopes to be able to launch reusable rockets, like Space X’s Falcon 9 (above)
Honda’s goal is to make the launcher’s first stage reusable, which will no doubt require a lot of research and testing. The manufacturer anticipates a possible failure and plans to lower manufacturing costs (especially via 3D printing) if it turns out that the rocket can only be launched once. Ultimately, Honda retains the hope of launching its rocket into Earth orbit before the end of the current decade … if it has not left the aerospace market by then (the maintenance on this market depends on the speed of progress of the group).