March 26, 2021 13:10
Korea is set to launch its first lunar orbiter next year with the goal of landing on the moon with its own rocket by 2030.
President Moon Jae-in made the remarks at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province on Thursday, where he watched the combustion test for the first-stage engine of the homegrown rocket, named Nuri.
He pledged to push ahead with a space exploration project after the successful development of the homegrown rocket. "We'll also work out a plan to explore asteroid Apophis that will fly by Earth in 2029 after assessing its feasibility," he added.
The Nuri's first launch is scheduled for October this year. The rocket is capable of sending a 1.5-ton satellite designed for practical use into a low Earth orbit at an altitude of 600-800 km. The three-stage space rocket will be developed with homegrown technology.
The successful combustion test means the "de facto completion" of the Nuri rocket development, Cheong Wa Dae said.
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