Last Rocket Launch Attempt Late This Month

Korea will make a third and final attempt to launch the home-grown space rocket Naro again between Jan. 30 and Feb. 8. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology set the new window on Wednesday.

Weather permitting, Jan. 30 is the likeliest launch date, between 3:55 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The final decision will be made based on the weather on the day, the ministry said.

The launch was originally scheduled for Oct. 26 last year but aborted due to a problem with the seal in the connector between the Russian-made first-stage booster and the launch pad. It was rescheduled for Nov. 29 but again called off at the last minute when a glitch was found in the second-stage booster.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute has replaced components, and Korean and Russian engineers will connect the Russian-made first-stage booster with the Korean-made second-stage booster this week. A launch rehearsal is planned for next week.

Dismissing worries about the aged solid fuel for the second-stage booster, which was produced in 2008, a KARI researcher said, "We've even conducted a combustion test with solid fuel made another five months earlier and found no problem."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 17, 2013 11:22 KST