S.Korea Succeeds in 3rd Test Flight of Solid-Fuel Space Rocket

  • By Roh Suk-jo, Yang Ji-hea

    December 05, 2023 10:12

    South Korea successfully conducted a third test flight of a solid-fuel space rocket that placed a satellite into orbit on Monday.
    The rocket developed by the Agency for Defense Development was launched at 2 p.m. on Monday from a barge some 4 km off the coast of Jeju Island and placed a 101 kg synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite developed by Hanwha Systems into low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 650 km.
    The satellite made contact with the ground station at 3:45 p.m.
    A solid-fuel space rocket is being fired off the coast of Jeju Island on Monday. /Yonhap
    The first and second test launches in March and December last year also went ahead without a hitch. But the latest test replaced a two-stage solid propulsion system from the previous tests with a three-stage solid propulsion system and a liquid-propulsion fourth stage.
    "The output of the first-stage propulsion system is more than 1.5 times stronger than a North Korean one," a military spokesman here claimed.
    North Korea put its first spy satellite into orbit last month, also using a solid-fuel rocket.
    Solid-fuel rockets are simpler in design than those using liquid fuel and easier and cheaper to store. The launch preparation takes less than a week.
    While the first and second tests involved dummy satellites, Monday's launch put a functioning commercial satellite into space. The final launch in 2025 will put a small military satellite into orbit.
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