South Korea Successfully Launches its First Rocket into Space
On June 21st at 4pm (KST) South Korea successfully launched its first domestically produced rocket from Naro Space Center on the country's southern coastal town of Goheung. According to the Washington Post this will boost their growing aerospace ambitions and demonstrate that South Korea has key technologies needed to be able to build and launch technologies such as spy equipment and missiles that may be needed to compete with the rising tensions between South Korea and North Korea.
Source: Washington Post - To view the launch on BBC click here.
Back in October of 2021 South Korea had made its first launch attempt but had only partial success. Yonhap News reports that the original Nuri ship successfully flew to the target altitude of 700 kilometers (435 miles) but failed to put their 1.5-ton dummy satellite into orbit due to its third-stage engine burning out earlier than expected.
What was the purpose of the launch?
The word rocket named Nuri(누리) means “world” in Korean. The three stage rocket successfully carried a 162.5 kilogram performance verification satellite that was meant to test the rocket's capabilities, a 1.3-ton dummy satellite, along with four cube satellites developed by separate universities for the purposes of academic research as Yonhap News stated in their article.
Because of the successful launch South Korea has become the 11th country to place a satellite successfully into space using its own technology. After the satellites were successfully launched they transmitted a signal to an unmanned South Korean station located in Antarctica. The four smaller satellites will be released within the coming days according to the Washington Post.
Although VOA news says that South Korean officials insist that the Nuri rocket has no intended military use, it does show what South Korea can do with their technology and officials hope that is will help turn the country into a “space powerhouse,” boosting both its private aerospace industry and government-led space program.