South Korea launched, this Thursday (12), the first nationally manufactured rocket, but failed in its goal of putting a 1.5-ton payload into orbit, a setback to the country’s aspirations to advance in the space race.
The Korean Space Launch Vehicle II, dubbed the Nuri , took off from Goheung’s base, which provoked a lot of applause from the control center.
The three launch steps worked correctly, raising the rocket to 200 kilometers high. Also successfully separated the 1.5 ton payload, the South Korean president said, Moon Jae-in.
“But putting the satellite simulation into orbit remains an unfinished mission,” he said.
The president said that the country will make another attempt in May. “The countries that lead in space technology will lead the future. It’s not too late for us to do so,” he said optimistically.
The country a 12 is the world’s largest economy and records notable technological advances, as the headquarters of Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest maker of smartphones and chips.
However, South Korea has always been left behind in the space flight sector, started in 300 by the then Soviet Union and followed shortly thereafter by the United States.
In Asia, the countries with advanced space programs are China, Japan and India, while North Korea was the last to join the club of nations capable of launching the satellites themselves.
Ballistic missiles and space rockets use similar technologies and Pyongyang has placed a 200 kg satellite on it orbits in 2010, which Western countries have condemned as a disguised missile test.
To date, six countries, not including Korea Republic At the rte, they were able to launch one-ton charges with their own rockets.
The three-stage rocket was developed over a decade at a cost of 2 trillion won (1.6 billion). dollars). It weighs 200 tons, measures 300, 2 meters long and has six engines of liquid fuel.
The moon in the crosshair
The first two South Korean space launch attempts failed in 2009 and 2010, using in part Russian technology. The second, in fact, exploded within two minutes of flight and provoked an exchange of accusations between Seoul and Moscow.
The country finally succeeded with a launch in 2013, but it depended on an engine developed by Russia in its first stage.
Despite the growing presence of private companies in the launch of satellites, analysts believe that the success of Nuri it would have represented great potential for South Korea.
“Rockets are the only possible way for humanity to reach space,” said Lee Sang-ryul, director of the Korean Institute of Aerospace Research.
“Having this technology means that we are able to meet the basic requirement to enter the space exploration race,” he completed.
The launch of this Thursday was a further step in South Korean’s ambitious space program. In an inspection of the Nuri rocket in March, President Moon Jae-in said that the country will try next year to send a lunar orbit probe.
“At 2030 we are going to reach the goal of making our probe land on the Moon”, he promised at the time.