South Korea’s Moon Vows ‘Korea Space Age’ After Rocket Test Falters

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GOHEUNG, South Korea—South Korea’s archetypal domestically built abstraction rocket blasted disconnected connected Thursday, but failed to afloat spot a dummy outer into orbit, delivering mixed results for a trial motorboat that represents a large leap for the country’s ambitious abstraction plans.

The three-stage KSLV-II Nuri rocket, emblazoned with the nationalist flag, roseate connected a file of occurrence from its motorboat pad astatine Naro Space Center astatine 5 p.m. (0800 GMT).

The Nuri, oregon “world,” rocket is designed to enactment 1.5-tonne payloads into orbit 370 to 500 miles supra Earth arsenic portion of a broader abstraction effort that envisages the motorboat of satellites for surveillance, navigation, and communications, and adjacent lunar probes.

President Moon Jae-in, who watched the motorboat from the abstraction center, said the rocket completed its formation sequences but failed to spot the trial payload into orbit.

Epoch Times Photo KSLV-II NURI rocket launches from its motorboat pad of the Naro Space Center successful Goheung, South Korea, connected Oct. 21, 2021. (Yonhap via Reuters)

“Unfortunately, we did not afloat scope our goal,” helium said successful a code astatine the site.

Moon praised the workers and said contempt the incomplete mission, the task would property ahead.

“It’s not agelong earlier we’ll beryllium capable to motorboat it precisely into the people trajectory,” helium said according to a transcript. “The ‘Korea Space Age’ is approaching.”

Officials said the last signifier of the rocket appeared to unopen down 40-50 seconds early, truthful the payload did not scope the velocity needed for its people orbit. The origin of the aboriginal shutoff was inactive being investigated, but it whitethorn person been a deficiency of unit wrong the substance tank, a premature bid from power computers, oregon different factors, officials said.

“Today’s motorboat near immoderate disappointment, but it is important arsenic it was the archetypal trial of the motorboat conveyance independently developed with our ain technology,” subject and exertion curate Lim Hye-sook told a briefing. “It’s meaningful to corroborate that each large motorboat steps were carried retired and we person secured halfway technology.”

As the briefing ended, 1 seemingly affectional authoritative bowed and said: “Please enactment america to marque the motorboat palmy successful May adjacent year.”

Overseen by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the 200-tonne rocket was moved to its motorboat pad connected Wednesday and raised into presumption adjacent to a towering greenish enactment operation perched connected a motorboat pad implicit cliffs that driblet into the sea.

The rocket’s 3 stages were powered by liquid-fuel boosters built by an affiliate of South Korea’s Hanwha conglomerate, with a clump of 4 75-tonne boosters successful the archetypal stage, different 75-tonne booster successful the second, and a azygous 7-tonne rocket motor successful the last stage.

KARI said it plans to behaviour arsenic galore arsenic 5 much trial launches earlier the rocket regularly carries existent payloads.

The adjacent trial is presently scheduled for May 19.

Space launches person agelong been a delicate contented connected the Korean peninsula, wherever North Korea faces sanctions implicit its nuclear-armed ballistic rocket program.

South Korea’s plans telephone for launching a scope of subject satellites successful future, but officials contradict that the NURI has immoderate usage arsenic a limb itself.

The country’s past specified rocket, launched successful 2013 aft delays and failed tests, was jointly developed with Russia.

Having its ain motorboat conveyance volition springiness South Korea the flexibility to find payload types and motorboat schedules, and benefits South Korean companies, officials told Reuters.

By Josh Smith