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S. Korea successfully test-launched first solid-fuel space rocket

S. Korea successfully test-launched first solid-fuel space rocket

Posted March. 31, 2022 07:53,   

Updated March. 31, 2022 07:53


The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) in charge of South Korea’s weapon research and development announced on Wednesday that it successfully conducted a test for a solid-fuel space rocket developed with the country’s own technologies. It has been 10 months since the ROK-US missiles guidelines restricting the development of solid-fuel space rockets ended after the bilateral summit in May last year.

It was reported that the large solid propulsion unit, pairing and stage separation, and posture control technology of the upper part were verified by the test. The specific flight altitude and time were not disclosed due to security. The military will launch a rocket mounted with a satellite after further verification. “Once the development is completed, we will have capabilities to independently launch small satellites or multiple micro satellites into the low earth orbit,” said a military source. In addition, as relevant technologies will be transferred to the private sector, it will contribute to the development of the country’s space industry.

The military might have revealed its successful test launch in consideration of North Korea’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch. As the base technologies for space rockets and ICBMs are the same, it means the South Korean military also has the potential to develop ICBM-level long-range missiles.

“In a critical time when North Korea broke the moratorium and launched an ICBM, South Korea’s successful test launch of a solid-fuel space rocket is an important milestone for its national defense power in terms of independent space-based reconnaissance and surveillance,” the Ministry of National Defense said in a press release on Wednesday. “We will recognize that space is a key area with significant impact on the national defense and develop the country’s defense power in space, including solid-fuel space rockets, by working jointly.”

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com