Korea's Space Rocket Poised for 3rd Launch

      May 22, 2023 12:50

      Final preparations are underway for the third launch of the homegrown space rocket Nuri on Wednesday. This time the rocket will be carrying real satellites with a mission instead of a dummy.
      Assembly was completed on Sunday, and Nuri will now be put on crawler-transporters and carried to the launch pad. 
      Once a final checkup is conducted on Wednesday morning, fuel and oxidizer will be put into the rocket to get it ready for liftoff at 6:24 p.m. plus or minus 30 minutes. The precise launch time will be determined on the day of launch depending on the weather and possible collisions with objects moving in the earth's crowded orbit.
      If all else fails, an alternative launch date will be set between May 25 and 31. 
      Engineers assemble Korea's homegrown space rocket Nuri at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province on May 16. /Courtesy of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute
      The third launch will show if the Nuri is capable of sending functioning satellites into orbit. It will carry eight -- a small NextSat-2 and seven CubeSats.
      The NextSat-2 was developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the CubeSats by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute with private companies Lumir, Justek and Kairo Space. They weigh a total of 500 kg and will be sent into orbit at an altitude of 550 km at 20-minute intervals starting with the NextSat-2 783 seconds after liftoff.
      The NextSat-2 will be sent into a "dawn-dusk orbit," where it can carry out its mission while illuminated by sunlight around the clock as the synthetic-aperture radar camera on it needs a lot of electric power. This is why the Nuri's target orbit altitude was lowered from 700 km to 550 km and its launch time was put off by 150 minutes from the time of previous launches. 
      Hanwha Aerospace takes part in the launch and will play an even bigger role in future launches as part of plans to transfer space rocket technology to the private sector. 
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