February 28, 2022 13:40
Korea will try to launch its first fully homegrown space rocket, the Nuri, again in June. The first launch last October failed in its mission to put a dummy satellite into orbit.
The Ministry of Science and ICT has scheduled the launch for June 15, with June 16-23 as alternate days if the weather is bad or something else goes wrong.
During the previous launch, the third-stage rocket shut off faster than planned and the payload failed to attain the speed necessary for the dummy satellite to stay in orbit.
An investigation found that the helium tank in the third-stage rocket had fallen off its anchoring device in the oxidizer tank of the rocket, and the detached helium tank caused leakage of helium and oxidizer that prompted the engine to shut off prematurely.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute has decided to fix the anchoring device more tightly to the helium tank and make the cover of the oxidizer tank thicker. It plans to disassemble and reassemble the new third-stage rocket before testing it.
Originally, a second launch of the Nuri had been scheduled for May, but the technical challenge delayed it by a month. A real satellite rather than a dummy will be carried into orbit this time.
The ministry the same day finalized a space development plan worth W734 billion, an increase of 18.9 percent from last year (US$1=W1,200). It also includes the launch of a lunar orbiter, a multi-purpose satellite for ground observation, and a next-generation midsize satellite.
The ministry also plans to start developing a homegrown satellite navigation system with a total budget of W3.72 trillion.
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