South Korea’s homegrown space rocket set for launch
Seoul, Oct 20 (EFE).- South Korea’s indigenously-developed space rocket is set for a launch on Wednesday from the space center in the southwest of the peninsula.
A successful launch of Nuri will give the country an entry into a club of 10 elite nations capable of developing, manufacturing, and launching space vehicles.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute said the 200-ton three-stage rocket cost about 1.9 trillion won (more than $16 billion).
“The space launch vehicle … can launch a 1.5-ton utility satellite into the low Earth orbit of 600-800 km above the Earth,” Kari said.
The rocket will be launched from Goheung County, about 340 km south of Seoul.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute has left a launch window from Oct.21 to 28, considering the possibility of a schedule change due to weather.
The objective of the launch is to demonstrate that Nuri is capable of putting a satellite into orbit.
The launch vehicle uses four 75-ton liquid engines in stage 1, a 75-ton liquid engine in stage 2, and a 7-ton liquid engine in stage 3.
South Korea first successfully launched a space rocket in 2013 with Naro-1, a three-phase rocket jointly developed with Russia.
More than 30 South Korean companies developed Nuri that will carry a simulated satellite as a payload.
The rocket will deploy the dummy satellite into the atmosphere about 16 minutes after lift-off when it reaches 700-km altitude above Earth.
South Korean authorities plan to carry out another launch in May and continue testing the rocket between now and 2027 to market it to other countries in the future.
The country successfully conducted its first combustion test for a solid-fuel rocket engine last July, following approval from the United States to lift a restriction on the South Korean missile production program.
South Korea hopes to start launching solid-fuel rockets in 2024. EFE