South Korea Launches First Homegrown Space Rocket

South Korea launched its first homegrown space rocket on Oct. 21, but failed to put a dummy satellite into orbit.

The Korean Satellite Launch Bechile II, also known as Nuri, took off from the Naro Space Center in Bongnae-myeon Township to a target altitude of up to 700 kilometers.

However, Nuri failed to reach its goal of sending a 1.5-ton satellite into a low orbit of 600 to 800 kilometer above the Earth.

According to Science Minister Lim Hye-sook, the dummy satellite could not reach the intended orbit because it did not reach a speed of 7.5 kilometers per second, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Lim also said that the engine burned for only 475 seconds instead of 521 seconds, which slowed down the rocket at the end.

Despite the setbacks, President Moon Jae-in said at a press briefing  that he was “proud” of the flight test.

“We have come this far after 12 years of starting the Nuriho development project.
Now we just need to go one step further,” Moon said.

“We started late, but today we made an important achievement. If we further develop our dreams for space, we will soon stand shoulder to shoulder with the space powers,” Moon further said.

Moon also said that South Korea will conduct another launch of the Nuri space rocket “equipped with a performance verification satellite” in May next year.

Moon also said that South Korea will also send projectiles to the moon by 2030.

“The ‘Korea Space Age’ is approaching,” Moon said.

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