Rocket Launch Tentatively Set for Nov. 29

The third and final launch attempt of a homegrown space rocket has been tentatively set for 4 p.m. on Nov. 29. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Monday said it agreed with Russian technicians assisting in the mission that Nov. 29 offered the optimum conditions.

The Naro rocket, or KSLV-1, was set for launch on Oct. 26, but a broken rubber seal in the connector between the Russian-made first-stage rocket and the launch pad forced officials to postpone it.

A probe showed that the damage to the seal had been caused by a gap between the seal and the connector's steel component. This required not only the damaged seal but also the entire defective part of the connector to be replaced. The replacement parts were flown in from Russia on Saturday.

Roh Kyung-won at the ministry said a thorough examination will follow of the parts that malfunctioned last month. "The final launch date will be determined in a meeting of the management committee on Thursday when the examination will be mostly complete," Roh said.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, no rain is expected after Nov. 27 in Goheung, South Jeolla Province where the Naro Space Center is located.

englishnews@chosun.com / Nov. 20, 2012 11:31 KST