President Moon Jae-in says that he is proud of South Korea's Nuri rocket launch, despite the vehicle not perfectly reaching its target.
Moon observed the launch on-site at the Naro Space Center on Thursday.
He said that Nuri reaching an altitude of 700 kilometers, itself, was a remarkable achievement and that South Korea has taken a step closer to space.
"Although it's a shame that we couldn't reach our target perfectly, it is a remarkable achievement for a first attempt. The launch, two engine ignitions during flight, rocket separation, fairing and dummy satellite separation all took place according to plan. Reaching an altitude of 700km is a great accomplishment and we have got closer to space."
The president praised all those who have been involved in the project over the past 11 years, stressing that the projectile was made solely using domestic technology.
"We now just need to take one step more. I express words of respect and encouragement for the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, academia, and the researchers, workers and business people from more than 300 local firms."
Moon said that it won't be long before the country will be able to launch Nuri exactly toward the targeted trajectory, should South Korea make up for Thursday's shortfalls.
"We still have the unfinished task of putting a dummy satellite into orbit. If we review and make up for today's shortfalls, we will be able to see success in our next launch in May next year."
Moon said that a new space generation has begun, expressing optimism for South Korea in being able to reach the ranks of global space powerhouses if the Nuri launch sequence becomes more precise and if the country can secure independent space transport ability.
Moon said that South Korea will conduct four more launches of the Nuri rocket until 2027, with the hopes of landing the country's own probe on the moon by 2030.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.