Korea has tentatively scheduled the second launch of ‘Nuri-ho,’ a Korean standard space rocket, on June 15.
The Science and ICT Ministry said it has fixed the schedule after confirming measures to address technical issues with Nuri-ho at the 40th meeting of the “working-level committee of space development and advancement” on Friday. The second launch was originally scheduled in May but has been postponed by about a month. The tentative dates of launch are June 16 to 23.
Nuri-ho is a three-stage Korean space rocket, which is designed to put a 1.5 ton-class commercial satellite into orbit 600 to 800 kilometers from the Earth. The rocket consists of four 75-ton liquid engines in its first stage, a 75-ton liquid engine in the second stage and a 7-ton liquid engine in the third stage. During the first launch in October last year, fuel in the third stage tank combusted prematurely, causing the rocket to fail to put the dummy satellite into the intended orbit.
The ministry’s launch investigation committee concluded that support structures holding helium tanks inside the third-stage oxidizer tank were loosened to trigger the failure. Researchers at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and its partners redesigned the tank to revise and strengthen the support structures and cover of manhole, which serves as the lid.
If production of this redesigned segment is completed, the researchers will disassemble the 3-stage engine that was assembled last year for the second launch, before reassembling and performing tests on its tightness. As they estimate that this technical improvement work will take about a month, they have decided to postpone launch schedule to June.