South Korea launches domestically-developed space rocket

South Korea launches domestically-developed space rocket

South Korea launches domestically-developed space rocket

South Korea launches domestically-developed space rocket (credits:google)

  • South Korea launches first domestically made space rocket on second attempt.
  • 200-tonne liquid-fuel rocket known as Nuri successfully separates from dummy satellite.
  • First test last October failed to put dummy satellite into orbit after third-stage engine shut down earlier than expected.

According to the government, South Korea launched its first domestically made space rocket on Tuesday, marking the country’s second attempt after a failed launch last October.

At 0700 GMT, the Korea Satellite Launch Vehicle II, a 200-tonne liquid-fuel rocket known as Nuri, took off from the launch site in Goheung.

“The flight of Nuri went off without a hitch. Engineers are currently analysing the flight data, which will take around 30 minutes “Seoul’s deputy minister of science, technology, and innovation, Oh Tae-seok, agreed.

South Korea’s second space rocket test comes eight months after the first failed to put a dummy satellite into orbit, a setback for the country’s attempt to enter the ranks of advanced spacefaring nations.

The rocket’s three stages all worked in the maiden test last October, with the craft reaching a height of 700 kilometres (430 miles) and the 1.5-tonne payload successfully separating.

However, it was unable to place a dummy satellite into orbit after the third-stage engine shut down sooner than expected.


On Tuesday, though, it looked that the first stage of the launch had gone smoothly.

Minutes after lift-off, South Korean television station YTN stated that “Nuri separates dummy satellite,” and that the launch “appears to be a success.”

Nuri carried a rocket performance verification satellite and four cube spacecraft produced by four local institutions for research reasons in Tuesday’s test, in addition to the dummy satellite.

The Nuri rocket is a three-stage rocket that has been under development for a decade.

It weighs 200 tonnes and is 47.2 metres (155 feet) in length, with six liquid-fueled engines.

China, Japan, and India all have advanced space programmes in Asia, and North Korea, the South’s nuclear-armed neighbour, is the newest member of the club of countries with their own satellite launch capacity.


Ambitions on the Moon

Similar technology is used in ballistic missiles and space rockets, and Pyongyang launched a 300-kilogram (660-pound) satellite into orbit in 2012, which Washington described as a covert missile test.

Only six countries, including North Korea, have successfully launched a one-tonne payload on their own rockets to yet.

If Tuesday’s launch goes as planned, South Korea will become the world’s seventh country to master space launch technology.

The South Korean space programme has had a mixed record, with two failed launches in 2009 and 2010, both of which employed Russian technology.

Two minutes into the flight, the second one detonated, with Seoul and Moscow accusing one other.


A 2013 launch was eventually successful, but it still relied on a Russian-developed engine for the first stage.

The satellite launch market is increasingly being dominated by private enterprises, such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has clients such as NASA and the South Korean military.

South Korea’s space goals, including a plan to place a probe on the Moon by 2030, appear to be getting closer with Tuesday’s test.

By the end of the year, South Korea intends to execute four more similar launches.

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