South Korea’s 1st domestic space rocket reaches space but is unsuccessful for orbit dummy payload

South Korea’s 1st domestic space rocket reaches space but is unsuccessful for orbit dummy payload

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREAN REPUBLIC — In its inaugural launch on Oct. 21, South Korea’s first domestically built rocket achieved its intended height. However, its third-stage engine shut down 46 seconds early, dropping its 1,500-kilogram dummy payload at a speed less than orbital.

The false payload is expected to re-enter the atmosphere south of Australia, but the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) did not specify a timetable for this.

Identifying and analyzing the problem

One hour and twenty minutes after the launch, the announcement was made. “Everything went smoothly, from takeoff until payload deployment.” “We did it all using our technologies,” Moon explained. “However, placing a cargo into the desired orbit has remained an uncompleted mission.” The president praised the personnel and stated that a second launch would take place in the following year.

The failure of the launch was caused by the rocket’s third-stage engine burning for a shorter time than intended. “The engine for the third stage was supposed to fire for 521 seconds, but it only lasted 475 seconds,” stated Lim Hye-sook, Minister of Science and ICT. “As a result, the payload was unable to fly at the required minimum speed of 7.5 kilometers per second when deployed 700 kilometers above the ground.” An investigation will be undertaken, according to the ministry, to ascertain what caused the issue.

Flight of KSLV-2:

  • KSLV-2 lifted off an hour later than first announced since engineers needed time to study and evaluate the rocket’s valves
  • Live footage presented the 47.2-meter rocket
  • South Korea’s flag soared into the air with bright yellow flames from the rocket

The first-stage booster with a cluster of four KRE-075 engines separated as scheduled at 4:02 a.m. Eastern, according to the science ministry. One minute later, the payload fairing separated, and at 4:04 a.m., the second stage booster with a single KRE-075 engine separated.

Estimations about KSLV-2

The 2 trillion won ($1.6 billion) KSLV-2 rocket is the first step in South Korea’s ambitious space projects, which include the launch of the country’s first robotic lunar lander on a domestically produced rocket by 2030.

In 2013, South Korea launched a space launch vehicle from Naro Space Center, which was a two-stage rocket made primarily of Russian hardware. After years of delays and setbacks, the launch finally happened. During its first test in 2009, the KSLV-1 rocket reached the desired altitude but failed to eject a satellite into orbit, and then exploded shortly after takeoff during its second test in 2010.


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