S. Korea's first homegrown space rocket set for launch on Oct. 21
Updated: 2021-09-30 07:00:46 KST
Less than a month remains until South Korea launches its first fully homegrown space rocket marking the full-fledged start of a domestically-powered, national space development program.
The Ministry of Science and ICT has finalized October 21st as Nuri's launch date and has reserved the 22nd to the 28th as alternatives.
A Wet Dress Rehearsal, or ignition-free systems test, for the 47.2 meter long, 200-ton rocket was completed late last month.
It's now undergoing final checks before it soars into the sky from Naro Space Center in Goheung, Jeollanam-do Province.
And it will do so with a dummy satellite that will be released sixteen minutes after lift-off some 700 kilometers above Earth's surface.
Attached to Nuri in its second launch next May will be an actual satellite.
The three-stage rocket will be propelled using four 75-ton liquid engines in the first stage, one in the next, and a 7-ton liquid engine in the third.
The country has been investing in the 1.8 billion U.S. dollar project since 2010, but Nuri isn't Korea's first ever rocket.
The country's rocket history goes way back to the 1990s when KSR-1 was launched far less than a hundred kilometers above Earth in 1993.
Since then, not too much progress was made before Nuri's predecessor Naro, whose first stage was built using Russian technology, reached low-earth orbit in 2013.
Should the Nuri mission all go according to plan, South Korea will become the seventh nation in the world to launch an over one-ton satellite into space using homegrown technology.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.