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.
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.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com