South Korea and Brazil are developing the space rocket industry; first launch next month
A South Korean space startup for small launch vehicles, Innospace has signed a commercial contract to launch a Brazilian military payload, a symbolic victory for the Asian country’s fledgling space exploration industry.
Under the contract signed with the Brazilian Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA), Innospace will perform its first suborbital test flight of HANBIT-TLV to carry an inertial navigation system called SISNAV for the Brazilian Air Force at the Alcantara launch center in Brazil in December this year.
Precisely in the first week of November, a breakaway operation was carried out to unload rocket parts, a cargo that had never been seen in the port of Santos. About fifteen professionals from the DP World terminal attended the unloading of the cargo, which was hoisted from the vessel.
The goods arrived in Brazil on November 3 on Hyundai Grace, owned by Hyundai, weighing more than 100 tons. It was placed in flat rack containers (specific containers for overweight loads). The cargo contained launch pad parts, tool kits, lifting structures and vehicles.
Asia Shipping was in charge of the storage management of the operation which, in partnership with the terminal, presented a logistics solution for this operation.
The cargo left the port of Busan in South Korea and is destined for the launch center in Alcântara, a neighboring town of São Luís, the capital of Maranhão.
The Korean company is developing HANBIT, a small satellite launcher powered by its 15-ton hybrid rocket engine. The test launch marks its first suborbital test flight to validate the first stage engine of HANBIT-Nano, a small 2-stage satellite launcher capable of carrying a 50 kg payload. The 16.3-meter test rocket weighs 9.5 tons and will be powered by a single 15-ton engine.
SISNAV is a navigation device that measures the flight position, speed and attitude of the rocket and the test launch will allow DCTA to check if the device works correctly on takeoff and during the trans-atmospheric flight.
Korea sees a growing list of space rocket and satellite startups in the private sector. NARA Space Technology, a startup dedicated to small satellites, said the company is expected to launch its first satellite on Space X Falcon 9 next year.