Japan's first domestic rocket is a pencil!? Passion to research on pencil rocket that began right after defeat

There are romances like 'fly in the sky' such as birds, airplanes and balloons.
Is it because human beings can not absolutely go on their own? That is why safety and danger are also papers, and the most outstanding one is not it?

1957 (Showa 32nd) September 20th is the day when we successfully launched a full-fledged domestic rocket in Japan.

Let's take a close look at the development history up to this day this time.

Whether the difference between missiles and rockets is military or not

Before going into the main issue let's touch a bit about the differences between rockets and missiles.

Although we are both generalists thinking "What is different? ('· Ω ·`) "from the general public, the mechanism itself seems to be about the same.

"Rocket is a thing to be launched for investigation and transportation of objects / people"
"Missiles launch for military attacks"

It seems that there is no problem with this kind of image. So it will be possible if one can do it. This is the key point of rocket development.

Every time a certain country launches a missile until several years ago
"It's an artificial satellite ^ ^"
"It is for space development ^^"
It was probably because of this that he was sticking with. Recently, it has been reopened, I am completely a rocket man.


let's move on to the main subject.


proposed by Hideo Itokawa of the University of Tokyo, the University of Tokyo

When the war ended and the occupation of GHQ was received, the technicians engaged in the development of the aircraft so far lost their jobs at once.

I was forbidden from studying airplanes in Japan.

When the occupation ended in 1952 and it became possible to study, the world is a time when jet aircraft fly around already.
The engineers who came back worked on the development of the jet plane at once, there were people who were interested in the rocket which is a completely different vector among them.

If it is a rocket, you can fly in space = air space.
By doing so, there was a grand aim that "let's make space travel possible in the distant future".

Too many targets are far too far, some makers who made the production say that there was also a place refused to say "I do not want to do it because I am not profitable." Of course.

However, there were not a few people who are attracted to the romance and cooperate.
It is University of Tokyo.
It was Mr. Hideo Itokawa of the Institute of Industrial Science and Technology of the University of Tokyo, so I plan to progress mainly from the University of Tokyo.

Pencil rocket A pencil with a length of 23 cm and a diameter of 1.8 cm

The study of emergency! Even if I say, I will not go easy.
The first obstacle is fund procurement.
A huge amount of money is required to fly the rocket, and depending on the accident during development and launch, the related equipment and the purse string will also blow away.

Therefore, until the technology was established a very small rocket was built.
A representative example of "Pencil rocket" is
Diameter 1.8 cm
Length 23 cm
Weight 200 g
That is exactly a pencil size. This naming sense is incredible.

In addition to that, there were people who did not have the concept of "Japan makes rockets" at the time.
Therefore, the manufacturer says that some people have twisted their heads, "Why do not you make rocket pendants (pendants that can put photos and medicines inside)" at my place?
It is a laughing story now, but you can see the society at the time.

Although IGY preparatory meeting can provide technical provision … …

The rocket development that has been advanced step by step is once deadline is drawn at "IGY preparation meeting" in 1954.

Roughly speaking to the meeting, "The war ended, and from now on let's use the technical power of each country in space and Antarctic investigation!"
Here we are talking to the Japanese from the US "If you can prepare the observation equipment, we will prepare the rocket here".

On the other hand, the Japanese side also broke his opinion.
To the direction that "if anything rockets are prepared by themselves".

and "Maximum goal is to make and launch a rocket that can reach up to 100 km altitude by 1958", and each part of the friendly competition will start.

In 1955, a horizontal trial experiment was conducted.
For the development, the rest of the rocket that was used during wartime was used.
Since the former is a weapon, it shook up to the next factory and it was said that it was said that "Because it is annoying, please go out".

As a result of trial and error, the technique to skip horizontally has become established.

altitude 600 m in flight time 16.8 seconds

Next, of course I will skip the rocket aiming at the sky, but in Japan surrounded by the sea there are not many lots facing it.

For example, in other countries I am going in the desert.
Unfortunately there is not a suitable place in Japan.

Shoot at the ocean, catch domestic and foreign fishing boats, passenger ships and freight ships, or catastrophic catastrophe. Doing such a thing just after the end of the war is not a story of rocket development.

Also, since coastal areas in Japan were occupied by the United States at this time, there were only two places that can be used freely.
That is Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture and Oga Peninsula in Akita Prefecture.

In Sado, the waves are rough, the officials are considered severe seasickness and it is thought that "It is difficult to safely carry the rocket", and the experiment on the Oga Peninsula · Doagawa coast is decided.

In the first experiment of August 1955, there was a record that the arrival height was 600 m, the horizontal distance was 700 m, and the flight time was 16.8 s.

Although the era goes back and forth, in 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong who first came down to the moon said, "This is a small step for a single person, but it is a great leap for mankind." As I did, the experiment on the Orikawa coast became a big step for Japanese rocket development.

Next, a "baby rocket" with an enlarged pencil rocket was made.
OD 8 cm, total length 120 cm, weighs about 10 kg.

There are speeds from placing observation instruments here and before reaching the speed of sound.
To be sure, Japanese rocket technology has advanced.

After launching it was a godly wake-up

On the other hand, you can write Waka, ask the local gods and Buddha for an invitation.
It was done in the shadows of research and experiments that it seemed Japanese.

When the rocket falls to the ground, I do not know when the fuel will explode. As well as the success or failure of the launch, the danger at such times is not necessarily as calculated, so it is exactly a divine result.

In the middle of the process "Since it will not be in time for the deadline of 1958, I will change the name and change the name once more" (Ultra), so that the name of the rocket is named Greek letters, It was accelerated.

"Copper rocket" launched this day in 1957 is one of them.
Because Kappa is "K" if it is alphabet, it is sometimes written as K rocket.

At that time it seemed to be more Japanese, it was said that it was taken from the performance of Noh and the name of express train. We also take vessels of the former Navy and Maritime Self Defense Force from old country names and place names.

It seems that Mr. Itokawa asserted that it was decided to be Greek letters.
In Europe and the United States, we often name rockets from people of Greek mythology, so it seems that priority was given to international understanding.

Surprised the technology was ahead of Shinkansen

Once launch was successful, we improved our refinement and we were able to bring data to the 1958 IGY meeting as promised.

At this time, only the four countries that succeeded in developing and launching rockets by themselves were the United States, Soviet Union, UK, and Japan. I do not think that it will be only 13 years after the defeat.

Incidentally, the start of the first Shinkansen (Tokaido Shinkansen) was launched in 1959, opening in 1964.
It is truly a great story when thinking that the establishment of rocket technology was ahead of Shinkansen.
Regarding practical use and generalization, the Shinkansen is the destination.

However, the lives of developers at the time were also terrible, taking the lead overtime over 200 hours a month by themselves, "Because you will be in the red, you do not come to the company, pay your salary" It seems that there were people who were told.
The power of passion, Maji pins.

It seems to me that the astronauts need a harsh training, and space development projects cost enormous funds, but it seems to me in the far world to the general public, but now we are trying to reduce costs.
As mentioned above, originally Japanese engineers have been working on rocket development aiming at "a transportation method that can be used as easily as jet aircraft".

It will not be far beyond familiarity with domestic travel levels.
However, it may be that the day when space travel is realized will come much sooner than we think.

Chitose Changchun

Reference: Mainichi Newspaper JAXA

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