Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - Page 4 News List

South Korean test of space rocket engine successful


A handout photograph from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute shows the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 Nuri, carrying a science satellite, blasting off yesterday from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Korea.

Photo: EPA-EFE

South Korea yesterday successfully conducted a rocket engine test launch, news reports said, paving the way for the development of its own space launch vehicle.

A liquid-fuel engine successfully propelled a single-stage rocket weighing 52 tonnes and 25.8m long, from the Naro Space Center on the southern coast, Yonhap news agency said.

The engine, designed and developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) as part of a US$1.8 billion project, is to be used to propel the country’s first indigenous three-stage launch vehicle — the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 (KSLV-2).

“This is a significant step forward in developing a launch vehicle with our own technology,” a KARI spokesman said.

It is the first such launch in South Korea since 2013, when the country put a small satellite into orbit following failures in 2009 and 2010.

However, the significance of the 2013 launch was widely discounted as the launch vehicle had to rely on a Russia-developed engine for its first stage.

On its launch — scheduled for 2021 — KSLV-2 will use five of the engines, a bundle of four for the first stage and another one for the second stage.

Yesterday’s test was deemed successful as the engine combustion was maintained for more than 140 seconds during the launch, Yonhap said.

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