October 20, 2008 09:59
The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, the country's first launch vehicle that will carry a satellite into orbit, has been unveiled at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province.
KSLV-1 consists of the upper part, which will be loaded with Science and Technology Satellite no.2, and the lower part, which will carry KSLV-1 from ground into space after launch. The 7.7m-high upper part was completed recently by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute with its own technology. The 25.8m-high lower part will be made in Russia and imported around January next year.
The KSLV-1, an experimental rocket unveiled last Thursday, is identical with the vehicle that will be launched into space next year in terms of design and performance. Cho Kwang-rae, chief of KARI's space launch vehicle project, said, "We plan to finish tests on the ground by February next year using an experimental rocket. We'll use four to five mock-ups of the lower part of the rocket for testing."
The KSLV-1 was to be launched at the end of this year, but the launch has been postponed due to delays in technical cooperation with Russia and in the supply of rocket components.
Min Kyung-ju, the head of the Naro Space Center, said, "We're convinced that KSLV-1 will be launched during the second quarter, between April and June, next year." He said that will make Korea the ninth nation to launch a satellite on its own.
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