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South Korea prepares for test of domestic first space rocket

Soul – South Korea was preparing to test-launch its first domestic space rocket on Thursday. Authorities say it is an important step in pursuing a satellite launch program.

If weather and other conditions are met, the three-stage Nuri rocket is expected to be launched around 5 pm (0800 GMT), delivering a dummy payload (1.5 tonnes of stainless steel and aluminum blocks) into orbit 600. Was there. 800 kilometers (372 to 497 miles) above the earth.

South Korea’s Deputy Science Minister Yong Hong-taek told reporters that the launch was originally scheduled an hour ago, but was postponed because engineers needed more time to examine some of the valves in the rocket. He said. He said no problems were immediately discovered, but he could move the launch in response to wind and other conditions at the planned time of the explosion.

Engineers completed a 47-meter (154-foot) rocket launch on Wednesday night at the launch pad of the country’s only spaceport, the Naro Space Center, on a small island off the south coast.

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After relying on other countries to launch satellites since the early 1990s, South Korea is now about to become the tenth country to send satellites into space with its own technology.

Authorities say such capabilities are crucial to the country’s space ambitions, including plans to send more advanced communications satellites and acquire their own military intelligence satellites. The country also wants to send a spacecraft to the moon by 2030.

Nuri is the first space launch rocket in Japan made entirely with domestic technology. The three-stage rocket is equipped with five 75-ton class rocket engines located in the first and second stages.

Scientists and engineers at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute plan to further test Nuri, including another launch using a dummy device in May 2022, before testing the actual satellite.

South Korea had previously launched a space launch rocket from the Naro Spaceport in 2013. This was a two-stage rocket made primarily of Russian technology. The launch took place after years of delays and a series of failures. A rocket named Naro reached the desired altitude in the first test in 2009, but was unable to put the satellite into orbit and exploded shortly after takeoff in the second test in 2010.

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It was unclear how North Korea, which had been accused of using its space launch attempts in the past few years as a disguise for the development of long-range missile technology, would react to Thursday’s launch.

North Korea was sensitive to rising South Korean defense spending and efforts to build more powerful conventional armed missiles while pushing for expansion of its nuclear and missile programs.

North Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong-un accused the United States and South Korea of ​​”destroying stability and balance” in the region with allied military activities and US-led “excessive weapons buildup” in a speech to Pyongyang’s Rubber India Congress last month. .. In the south.

Nuri is powered by a liquid propellant that needs to be refueled shortly before launch, but Koreans plan to develop a solid-fuel space launch rocket by 2024.

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South Korea prepares for test of domestic first space rocket

Source link South Korea prepares for test of domestic first space rocket

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