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Naro space rocket set to be launched as scheduled Friday

Naro space rocket set to be launched as scheduled Friday

Posted October. 22, 2012 22:24,   


Korea`s Naro space rocket, which failed to launch in attempts in 2009 and 2010, will blast off in its third and last shot Friday as scheduled.

Education, Science and Technology Minister Lee Ju-ho told a media briefing at the Central Government Complex in Seoul Monday, “The Naro rocket launch management committee has concluded that the launch is possible Oct. 26 after comprehensively examining preparations and weather forecasts.”

The launch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday, but the exact time will be confirmed that day.

As such, the Naro, which underwent final inspections after assembly of the Stage 1 and 2 rockets, will be moved to the launch pad Wednesday two days prior to the planned launch as scheduled. The final dress rehearsal will take place Thursday, the eve of the launch, as authorities are gearing up for the liftoff.

A key variable is the weather. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, southern coastal regions, including the Goheung area in South Jeolla Province where the Naro Space Center is situated, will see light rain from Friday evening that will likely continue into Saturday.

Yoo Hee-dong, director of the forecast policy division at the weather agency, said in the briefing, “Chances aren`t high that the weekly weather forecast will be applied as a forecast, and we`ll have to wait and see further.”

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute will hold a meeting of the launch management committee at the Goheung site Wednesday and Friday to raise the chance of success. They could postpone the launch if they expect a higher chance for rain around the time of launch.

Notably, the launch will be delayed if the average speed of ground wind exceeds 15 meters per second and the maximum speed exceeds 100 meters per second at an altitude of 30 kilometers. The launch will also be suspended if lightning is monitored within a 20-kilometer radius from the rocket’s flight trajectory.

If the launch is canceled Friday, a new liftoff date will be picked between Saturday and Oct. 31.