South Korea rocket launch puts satellites in orbit

South Korea’s second take a look at launch of its domestically produced Nuri rocket efficiently positioned a number of satellites in orbit, officers mentioned, taking a serious step in efforts to jumpstart its area programme after a primary take a look at failed final yr.

The Korea Satellite Launch Vehicle II, a 200-tonne liquid gas rocket informally known as Nuri, lifted off from the launch web site in Goheung at 4pm native time (7am Irish time).

A 162.5kg satellite tv for pc designed to confirm the rocket’s efficiency efficiently made contact with a base station in Antarctica after coming into orbit, officers mentioned.

The rocket additionally efficiently positioned a 1.3-ton dummy satellite tv for pc and 4 small dice satellites developed by universities for analysis, into orbit.

“The sky of the Korean universe is now wide open,” Science and ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho informed a briefing.

“Our science and technology has made great strides.”

The three-stage KSLV-II Nuri rocket, designed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to ultimately put 1.5-ton payloads into orbit 600 to 800km above the Earth, is a cornerstone of the nation’s formidable targets for 6G networks, spy satellites, and even lunar probes.

It makes use of solely Korean rocket applied sciences, and is the nation’s first domestically constructed area launch automobile.

South Korea’s final booster, launched in 2013 after a number of delays and a number of other failed checks, was collectively developed with Russia.

In Nuri’s first take a look at in October, the rocket accomplished its flight sequences however did not put the take a look at payload into orbit after its third-stage engine burned out sooner than deliberate.

Engineers adjusted the helium tank inside Nuri’s third-stage oxidiser tank to handle that drawback, Yonhap information company reported.

KARI has mentioned it plans not less than 4 extra take a look at launches by 2027.

Nuri is essential to South Korean plans to ultimately construct a Korean satellite-based navigation system and a 6G communications community. The nation additionally plans to launch a variety of army satellites, however officers deny the Nuri has any use as a weapon.

South Korea can be working with the United States on a lunar orbiter, and hopes to land a probe on the moon by 2030.

After right this moment’s profitable launch, the US Embassy in Seoul mentioned on Twitter it’s trying ahead to US-South Korea cooperation in area.

Space launches have lengthy been a delicate problem on the Korean peninsula, the place North Korea faces sanctions over its nuclear-armed ballistic missile programme.

In March, South Korea’s army individually oversaw what it mentioned was its first profitable launch of a solid-fuel space-launch rocket, one other a part of its plans to launch spy satellites.

In latest years, South Korea and the United States agreed to scrap bilateral limits on Seoul’s missile and rocket improvement, clearing the best way for brand spanking new civilian and army launches.

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