Korea faces bumpy road to be space power

South Korea faces a bumpy road ahead to be a space power despite the successful launch of a locally assembled rocket that gave legitimate reasons for the parties involved to celebrate. No longer feeling the pressure of the two previous failures, government officials are speaking of bringing forward the launch of the planned Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 (KSLV-2), a bigger and more powerful successor to KSLV-1, also known as Naro.

The “self-developed” KSLV-2 is tentatively scheduled for 2021 but the state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) is promoting a date three years sooner. President-elect Park Geun-hye has expressed support for the advanced date, praising the success of Naro as evidence of a positive outlook. But concerns are rising due to an unanswered fundamental question: Does Korea really have what it takes to do this?

Fo full article, see Korea Times.

Seoul to set definite date for launch of Naro space rocket

South Korea will this week set a more definite date for the liftoff of its Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), the government said Wednesday. The country’s Launch Preparation Committee earlier set Jan. 30-Feb. 8 as possible dates for what will be its third launch of KSLV-1, also known as Naro.

“The committee will be convened at 11 a.m. Thursday and select a launch date within the candidate dates after reviewing technical preparations and weather conditions,” the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said in a statement.

The country’s first two attempts to send the KSLV-1 into space in 2009 and 2010 ended in failures. A successful launch of the space rocket will make the country the world’s 13th nation to send a satellite into space from its own soil. The third launch of the KSLV-1 was originally set to take place on Oct. 26 but was delayed due to a damaged rubber seal in the connector between the rocket and the launch pad.

For full article see Korea Herald.

KARI upbeat about rocket project

The chief of Korea’s aerospace agency expressed optimism ahead of the launch of the nation’s first space vehicle slated for October. “Everything is under control and I’m sure we’ll have a successful launch in October,” Kim Seung-jo, president of Korea Aerospace Research Institute, said in an interview with The Korea Herald.

Korea failed in its previous two attempts to launch its own rocket in 2009 and 2010. KARI has learned crucial lessons from the experiences. The KSLV-1, known as Naro-1, is a two-stage rocket built in cooperation with Russia. Russia’s Khrunichev Space Research designed and manufactured the lower part and KARI developed the upper part.

For full article see Korea Herald.

Review begins for third space rocket launch

A panel of experts will start reviewing launch plans for the country’s first space rocket this week, which could help set a specific blastoff date, the government said Thursday.

A review committee will hold its first meeting Friday after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology filed its request for a launch late last month.

The ministry said earlier that the launch, which will be the third of its kind, will likely take place before October. The first two launches of South Korea’s first locally assembled space rocket took place in August 2009 and June 2010. Both, however, failed to place their scientific satellite payload into the Earth’s orbit due to problems in the rocket’s electrical systems.

For full article see Korea Times.