Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - South Korea’s Nuri rocket blasts off into space



South Korea’s Nuri rocket blasts off into space

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
South Korea's first self-developed satellite launch vehicle launches from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province. YONHAP

South Korea’s Nuri rocket blasts off into space

South Korea launched its first domestically developed space rocket on October 21 but failed to put its dummy payload into orbit, a setback in the country’s attempts to join the ranks of advanced space-faring nations.

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle II, informally called Nuri and emblazoned with a South Korean flag, rose upwards from the Naro Space Centre in Goheung county, South Jeolla province, on the southern coast trailing a column of flame.

All three stages of the rocket worked, taking it to an altitude of 700km, and the 1.5-tonne payload separated successfully, President Moon Jae-in said after watching the launch at the control centre.

But “putting a dummy satellite into orbit remains an unfinished mission”, he announced.

“Though it fell short of achieving its goals perfectly, we have achieved very good feats with our first launch,” he said, adding that another attempt will be made in May. “Countries that lead in space technology will lead the future. And we are not too late to do it.”

The mission failed because the third-stage engine stopped burning 46 seconds earlier than scheduled, science minister Lim Hye-sook told reporters.

Cheering and applause had earlier broken out in the control centre as the flight seemed to proceed according to plan.

South Korea has risen from the ashes of war to become the world’s 12th-largest economy and a technologically advanced nation, home to the planet’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker, Samsung Electronics.

But it has lagged in the headline-making world of spaceflight, where the Soviet Union led the way with the first satellite launch in 1957, closely followed by the US.

The three-stage Nuri rocket has been a decade in development at a cost of two trillion won ($1.6 billion). It weighs 200 tonnes and is 47.2m long, fitted with a total of six liquid-fuelled engines.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • Locally-trained commercial pilots to lift Cambodia’s aviation standard

    The Kingdom is boosting its civil aviation sector with the establishment of a flight school with a local airline to meet growth demands once air travel recovers At 22, First Officer Reachta Lim is the youngest commercial pilot in Cambodia. He flies with the national flag