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Korea’s 1st Space Rocket to Blast Off Aug. 11

Posted August. 03, 2009 09:03,   


Korea’s first space rocket is set for launch Aug. 11.

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) was scheduled to blast off Thursday at Naro Space Center in the township of Bongrae in Goheung County, South Jeolla Province, but was delayed due to a defect found in the test firing of the stage-one rocket supplied by Russia.

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry said yesterday, “We were informed by Russia that the hot test firing was successfully conducted Thursday,” adding, “Korean and Russian engineers set the date of the vehicle’s launch for Tuesday, Aug. 11, between 4:40 p.m. and 6:40 p.m.”

Accordingly, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, which is in charge of the development and launch of the rocket, Saturday assembled the main booster rocket made in Russia, and the second stage of the rocket developed in Korea at the space center.

Also called the Naro-ho, the rocket will undergo a week of final checks on electronic equipment and devices and mechanical parts. Work will also be done Wednesday to imprint the Korean national flag and the logos of the ministry, the institute and the Russian supplier Khrunichev on the vehicle.

The vehicle will then be moved to the launch pad south of the space center from the assembly building between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday, and be erected toward the sky between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. the same day.

The final rehearsal for the launch will be from 2 p.m. Monday next week, when scientists will decide whether to launch Tuesday, and if so, at what time. The vehicle will be filled with rocket fuel two hours before launch, and the final countdown will start 15 minutes ahead of liftoff.

A Korea Aerospace Research Institute source said, “The launch is scheduled for around 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11, for now, but could be delayed further to Aug. 12 to 18 if weather conditions deteriorate due to torrential rains and lightening.”

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry will also inform the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization, and the secretariat of the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation of the changed schedule under international practices.