Headlines > News > South Korea loses contact with KSLV-1 rocket

South Korea loses contact with KSLV-1 rocket

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:09 am via: RIA Novosti
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MOSCOW – The terrestrial services of the South Korean space center lost contact with their KSLV-1 rocket eight minutes after its launch on Thursday, Yonhap news agency said.

The KSLV-1 (The First Korean Space Launch Vehicle), built in cooperation with Russia, blasted off at noon Moscow time [08:00 GMT].

Naro South Korean space center said when it lost contact with the rocket, the vehicle was travelling faster than the speed of sound. The official said the causes of the situation are being investigated.

The rocket was originally scheduled to blast off on Wednesday, but its departure was postponed due to technical problems.

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 a height of 33 meters (108 feet).

South Korea began developing its own space program in 1996. Seoul has already launched 11 satellites since 1992, using foreign carrier rockets and launch sites.

Seoul plans to build a more powerful rocket named KSLV-2 and launch it by 2018 without foreign assistance. The vehicle is expected to be a 50-meter (164-foot) three-stage rocket, capable of carrying a payload of up to one metric ton.

Copyright 2010 RIA Novosti. All rights reserved.

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