Science & Technology

South Korea rocket launch delayed due to technical glitch

Seoul, June 15 (EFE).- South Korea delayed the launch of its homegrown space rocket Nuri on Wednesday after detecting a technical glitch in the launch pad.

The Ministry of Science said the rocket, scheduled to take off on Thursday, was on the launch pad when Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) technicians detected the problem.

The space agency then took the rocket back to the assembly point.

Nuri, also known as KSLV-II, was transported out of the hangar to the launch pad at the state-run space center operated by KARI in Goheung, a southern coastal village some 470 km south of Seoul.

The launch window for Nuri lasts until June 23, but the authorities do not know if it could be launched within that period.

Nuri’s maiden flight on Oct.21, 2021, was a major milestone for the South Korean home-grown launch capabilities.

But the rocket failed to place the dummy satellite into the target orbit due to a premature shutdown of the third-stage engine.

Nuri, which runs on liquid fuel, has been conceived and produced entirely at home and has cost nearly two trillion won (about $1.8 billion) to develop since 2010.

A successful launch would make South Korea one of only 10 countries capable of developing and launching its space vehicles.

It would also be one of only seven nations after Russia, the United States, France, Japan, China, and India that can launch satellites weighing more than one ton into orbit.

With Nuri, South Korea hopes to improve its ability to put better surveillance satellites into orbit to spy on North Korea.

South Korea has proposed to launch its first solid-fuel space rocket by 2024.

The technology, which allows faster and easier loading, better storage, and lower costs, can also be used to develop more sophisticated missiles at a time marked by the escalation of weapons on the Korean peninsula and throughout Northeast Asia. EFE


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