Headlines > News > South Korea set to launch its first carrier rocket on Aug. 11

South Korea set to launch its first carrier rocket on Aug. 11

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Aug 3, 2009 3:18 pm via: source
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MOSCOW, (RIA Novosti) – South Korea will launch its first carrier rocket from the Naro Space Center on August 11, the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said on Monday.

The rocket will bear a small research satellite.

The launch was originally planned for July 30, but Russian experts who took part in the development of the rocket asked for additional time to test and adjust on-board systems to ensure its success.

“In the event of technical difficulties or bad weather the launch could be rescheduled for any date between Aug. 11 and Aug. 18,” Roscosmos said on its website.

KSLV-1(Korea Space Launch Vehicle), built in cooperation with Russia, is based on the Angara carrier rocket. The carrier rocket is designed to deliver small satellites into low orbit and can carry a payload of up to 100 kg (220 lbs).

The rocket was developed jointly by the state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and Russia’s Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center. It weighs 140 metric tons, has a diameter of 3 meters (10 feet) and the height of 33 meters (108 feet).

If the launch scheduled for August 11 is successful, South Korea will become a member of the so-called ’space club,’ whose members have developed their own rockets and satellites and sent them into space from a launch facility on their own soil.

A second, more powerful rocket named KSLV-2 could be created and launched by 2018 without foreign assistance. It is expected to be a 50-meter (164-foot) three-stage rocket, capable of carrying up to one metric ton of payload.

The construction of South Korea’s first space center on the island of Naro, about 500 km (311 miles) south of Seoul, was completed in June.

The facility covers an area of over 5 square km (1.9 square miles). The cost of construction totaled $248.6 million, according to the country’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

South Korea launched its space program in 1996.

Copyright 2009 RIA Novosti. All rights reserved.

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