South Korea’s second space rocket launch successfully puts satellites into orbit

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South Korea’s second test launch of its locally produced Nuri rocket successfully placed several satellites into orbit on Tuesday, officials said, marking a major milestone in efforts to revive its space program after the failed launch. a first test last year. The rocket lifted off from Naro Space Center on South Korea’s southern coast at 4 p.m. (0700 GMT). A 162.5 kg (358 lb) satellite designed to check rocket performance has successfully made contact with a base station in Antarctica after entering orbit, officials said.

The rocket also successfully placed a 1.3-tonne dummy satellite and four small cubic satellites developed by universities for research into orbit. “The skies of the Korean universe are now wide open,” Science and ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho said at a press briefing. “Our science and technology have made great progress.”

The KSLV-II Nuri three-stage rocket, designed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to terminate 1.5-tonne payloads in orbit 600 to 800 km (370 to 500 miles) above the Earth, is the cornerstone of the country’s ambitious project. lenses for 6G networks, spy satellites and even lunar probes. It uses only Korean rocket technologies and is the country’s first space launcher. South Korea’s latest booster, launched in 2013 after multiple delays and failed tests, was jointly developed with Russia.

During Nuri’s first test in October, the rocket completed its flight sequences but failed to put the test payload into orbit after its third-stage engine burned out earlier than expected. Engineers adjusted the helium tank inside Nuri’s third-stage oxidizer tank to address this issue, Yonhap News Agency reported.

KARI said it plans at least four more test launches by 2027. Nuri is key to South Korean plans to eventually build a Korean satellite navigation system and 6G communications network. The country also plans to launch a range of military satellites, but officials deny the Nuri can be used as a weapon. South Korea is also working with the United States on a lunar orbiter and hopes to land a probe on the Moon by 2030.

After Tuesday’s successful launch, the US Embassy in Seoul said on Twitter that it looked forward to US-South Korea cooperation in space. Space launches have long been a hot topic on the Korean Peninsula, where North Korea faces sanctions over its nuclear-armed ballistic missile program.

In March, the South Korean military separately oversaw what it said was the first successful launch of a solid-fuel space rocket, another part of its plans to launch spy satellites. In recent years, South Korea and the United States have agreed to remove bilateral limits on Seoul’s missile and rocket development, paving the way for new civilian and military launches.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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