It just won’t work. Another space mission from South Korea fails. But President Moon Jae-in already has new plans.
Seoul – Big setback for South Korea’s ambitious space program. Despite the successful launch of a first satellite launcher that was completely developed in-house, the mission could not be completed successfully. The three-stage “Nuri” rocket took off from the Goheung space center on Thursday and reached its target height of 600 kilometers within a few minutes. “It looks like it will go up into the sky without any problems,” a television commentator said shortly after the start, which was broadcast live.
After the cargo was separated from the rocket, cheers and applause broke out in the control center. Parliament also suspended a session to watch the launch. Shortly thereafter, however, President Moon dampened the joy. Because the second step failed. The rocket failed to bring the 1.5-ton dummy satellite into orbit, said President Moon Jae-in.
South Korea: Space program is experiencing another major setback
The first stage was very successful. The rocket’s launch and all three stages of propulsion would have worked, Moon said. The dropping of the cargo was also successful. However, the mission to bring the dummy into orbit remains “unfinished,” added the head of state.
Around ten years were invested in the development of the three-stage rocket at a cost of around 1.46 billion euros. “Although the goals weren’t met perfectly, we achieved a lot with our first start,” said Moon. The South Korean President announced another attempt for May 2022.
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Space travel: In addition to South Korea, Japan, China, India and North Korea also have ambitious plans
South Korea is not alone in its space travel efforts in Asia. Japan, China and India also already have advanced space programs. Most recently, North Korea, a hostile to South Korea, succeeded in launching a 300-kilogram satellite into orbit in 2012. So far, however, only six countries have succeeded in transporting cargoes weighing more than a ton into space. After the failed orbit mission, South Korea can only join this group as the seventh space travel nation with reservations.
The South Korean space program had already suffered several setbacks: two launches failed in 2009 and 2010, and in 2010 the rocket exploded two minutes after launch. A start was made in 2013, albeit with a Russian engine as the first drive stage. South Korea’s goals are extremely ambitious. In March, President Moon Jae-in said after an engine test that a flight to the moon was planned for the coming year. “We will realize our dream and bring a probe to the moon by 2030,” explains Moon Jae-in. (slo / AFP)
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