South Korea launches first satellite with homemade rocket


Seoul, South Korea-South Korea launched its first successful satellite launch on Tuesday using a domestically developed rocket, boosting its growing aerospace ambitions and spying in tension with rival North Korea. He has shown that he has the important technology needed to launch a satellite and build a larger missile.

According to the Ministry of Science, the three-stage Nuri rocket will launch a “performance-verified” satellite at a target altitude of 700 km (435 miles) after being launched at 4 pm from South Korea’s space launch center on the southern island. I placed it.

The satellite sent a signal about the condition to an unmanned South Korean base in Antarctica. It carries four small satellites that will be released in the coming days for earth observation and other missions, ministry officials said.

“Science and technology in South Korea has made great strides,” Science Minister Lee Jung-ho said at a television press conference at the launch center. “The government will continue its bold march to become a space power with its people.”

President Yoon Seok-yul vowed to congratulate them on their achievements and keep the promise of the campaign to establish a state aerospace agency in a video conference with scientists and others involved in the launch. ..

Yoon tin cassotte
South Korean President Yoon Seok-yul (C) celebrates the successful launch of the first domestically produced space rocket, the Nuri Rocket, at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul, South Korea on June 21, 2022. AP)

Live television broadcasts showed a 47-meter (154-foot) rocket floating in the air in bright flames and thick white smoke.

With this launch, South Korea has become the 10th country in the world to place satellites in space with its own technology.

This was the second launch of the Nuri Rocket in South Korea. In the first attempt last October, the rocket’s dummy payload reached the desired altitude, but was unable to get into orbit because the rocket’s third-stage engine burned out earlier than planned.

South Korea, the world’s 10th largest economy, is a major producer of semiconductors, automobiles and smartphones. However, its space exploration program lags behind its Asian neighbors, China, India and Japan.

North Korea put Earth observation satellites into orbit in 2012 and 2016, but there is no evidence that they have ever sent interval-based images and data home. The North Korean launch resulted in UN sanctions because it was seen as a cover for testing the country’s banned long-range missile technology.

Since the early 1990s, South Korea has sent numerous satellites into space, all using foreign rocket technology or launch sites. In 2013, South Korea succeeded in launching a satellite for the first time from that soil, but the first stage of the rocket was made in Russia.

After the satellite launch, the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that Washington supported the South Korean launch, but led UN sanctions on the North Korean satellite launch last year, with the United States “double standards and Britain’s. He accused him of having “nature”. North Korea did not immediately comment on the launch of Nuri on Tuesday.

South Korea plans to launch four more Nuri over the next few years. We also hope to send a spacecraft to the moon to build a next-generation space rocket and put a large satellite into orbit.

South Korean officials said the Nuri Rocket had no military purpose.

Korean space rocket
The Nuri Rocket, the first space rocket in the country, will be launched from the launch pad of the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Korea on June 21, 2022. (AP via Korean Pool / Yonhap)

The transfer of launch technology to space is severely restricted under a multilateral export control system due to its military use. Ballistic missiles and space rockets often share similar bodies, engines, and other components, but missiles require re-entry capabilities and other technologies.

“Putting a satellite on top of a rocket makes it a space rocket, but mounting a warhead makes it a weapon,” said Kwon Young-soo, a former professor at the National Defense University of Korea. “(Successful launch) is very meaningful because we have also successfully tested a long-range rocket that can be used to build long-range missiles.”

Lee Chung-gun, an emeritus researcher at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Policy, said that Nuri uses liquid fuel, which must be kept at extremely low temperatures, and requires much longer refueling time than solids, so it is a missile. He said it was difficult to use directly. fuel. North Korea’s long-range missiles also use liquid fuel, but he said they are highly toxic missiles that are maintained at room temperature and have a shorter refueling time than Nuri.

This year, North Korea test-launched about 30 missiles with a range that could put South Korea and Japan, allies of the US mainland and the region, in the immediate vicinity.

South Korea already has missiles that can attack all of North Korea, but some experts say they also need long-range missiles because of the military strength and potential enemies of the region.

“Long-range missiles don’t make much sense to us, considering only North Korea, but it’s a shame that troops like China and Russia are close to us,” Kwon said.

He said the successful launch of Nuri proves that South Korea has the ability to send spy satellites into orbit. Lee said Nuri could be used to launch spy satellites, but it would be better for South Korea to have many smaller spy satellites that could be sent by less powerful solid-fuel rockets.

South Korea does not currently have its own military reconnaissance satellite and relies on US spy satellites to monitor North Korea’s strategic facilities. South Korea said it plans to launch its own surveillance satellite shortly.

Kim Hyun Jin

Associated Press