Korea successfully launches its first domestic rocket into orbit
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Korea successfully launches its first domestic rocket into orbit
  • Kevin Lee 기자
  • 승인 2022.06.22 17:52
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The three-stage rocket reached its target orbit of 700 kilometers

Korea successfully launched satellites into orbit with its homegrown Nuri rocket on June 21.

The Nuri rocket (KSLV-II), weighing 200 metric tons, flew to outer space at the state-run space center operated by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute in Goheung, South Jeolla Province.

Korea's Nuri rocket lifts off at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province on June 21.
Korea's Nuri rocket lifts off at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province on June 21.

The three-stage rocket reached its target orbit of 700 kilometers, making South Korea the seventh country in the world with indigenous capabilities to develop and launch a satellite greater than 1 ton.

In a briefing, Science and ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho said, “We have not only launched the Nuri rocket but separated and placed the performance verification satellite into the target orbit. This is meaningful because the year 2022 almost marks the 30th anniversary when South Korea first launched a space rocket.”

The nation first tried to launch a dummy satellite with the Nuri rocket last October. The attempt failed when the rocket's third-stage engine shut down and the dummy satellite failed to reach low Earth orbit.

Since 2010, Korea has invested nearly 2 trillion won in building the three-stage Nuri, the country's first rocket using its own technology, opening the door to a range of future satellites and missions.

KARI said that a total of 300 Korean companies took part in developing the rocket. KARI head Ahn Sang-il has previously said the rocket's success would allow South Korea more autonomy in its space program.

The government-led project of developing the three-stage, liquid-fueled carrier rocket, weighing 200 tons and standing 46.2 meters tall, took 12 years.

Starting from 2023 to 2027, South Korea plans to carry out the Nuri Acceleration Project, which will send four additional rockets to space to boost the reliability of the Nuri space rocket and promote private enterprises that develop satellite projectiles.

The government has secured a budget of around 680 billion won, according to Goh Jung-hwan, director of KARI’s KSLV-II (Nuri) research and development directorate.


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