S. Korea to launch first indigenous carrier rocket and multiple satellites in coming years
Updated: 2019-07-20 09:05:11 KST
A launch vehicle is a rocket-propelled vehicle that can carry payloads such as satellites into space.
Building an indigenous space vehicle is considered to be the first and most daunting task to become a true space power.
South Korea is only one step away from realizing that ambition, having successfully test-launched an indigenous rocket engine last year which will power the Korea Space Launch Vehicle II or Nuri, scheduled for launch in 2021.
"The successful trial run is meaningful in the sense that we can now put into orbit any working satellite at any time of our choosing, and all this on our soil."
The expert went on to say that the country's space division has even more ambitions.
"In addition to launching the Nuri in 2021, we're working on a project to send a moon orbiter."
Last year, South Korea also put into orbit a cutting-edge weather satellite called Chollian 2A that transmits high-resolution photos of weather front developments and the Earth's surface to local researchers, every ten minutes.
"By next year, South Korea is also planning to launch the weather satellite Chollian 2B, a twin of the Chollian 2A launched last year, which became fully operational this July."
"Chollian 2B will monitor, in real time, fine dust levels in the air above the country and keep track of temperature changes on the surface of the adjacent seas."
The expert also detailed the agency's plan to launch, what it calls "Compact Advanced Satellite 500" by next year, a next generation satellite with a wide range of different applications.
"The new satellite will measure soil fertility in farmlands and gauge the health of forests in the country. It will also help draw a three-dimensional map of the country, which newer industries can take advantage of."
The agency plans to help a local space company to take the lead in developing satellites by transferring technology and providing technical consultations.