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From glitch to glory: Arirang's on-site coverage of Nuri space rocket launch Updated: 2022-06-27 13:27:16 KST

"All right, this is gonna be your first rocket launch."

"Very excited, a bit nervous actually, we're gonna be on site for a historical launch, right? The second launch of Nuri. It's something I've only seen in the movies. Tom Hanks. Apollo 13. But to actually be there, what an exciting experience it'll be."

"Alright, let's go."

"All righty."

Despite all this excitement about an hour into the drive south we got some news.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute decided to push back the launch by 24 hours due to the weather just minutes before Arirang TV's first newscast of the day.

"This just in the scheduled second launch of Nuri which was set to take place on Wednesday has been pushed back to Thursday."

"Today's weather forecast posed obstacles to the transportation of the rocket, and once it's erected the screening of umbilical cords and connecting the cables could've been dangerous for the engineers."

The engineers also assured the public that there are no problems with the rocket itself.
And it showed as after the 24 hour delay all steps seemed to be on course.

"We think it's highly likely the launch will be a success then again, there's no guarantee that unexpected variables won't pop up last minute so we're not letting down our guard."

And the rocket's transportation went smoothly with hardly any wind, the sun shining bright and Nuri standing fully upright on its launch pad before Wednesday noon.
Then another sudden announcement a day before lift-off: a glitch detected at around 2 PM in the oxidizer level sensor in the rocket's first stage meant Nuri had to be shipped back to where it was assembled.

"After trying to figure out the issue at the launch pad, we realized it was not possible to get up close and analyze the problem while it's standing up. That's why we decided it's impossible to carry out the launch at the moment."

But just when it seemed as though it would be postponed for several weeks Nuri's launch was suddenly back on.

"At first, we thought Nuri's first and second stages would have to be separated to replace the problematic sensor itself but researchers at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, after close examination, found the issue could be solved by replacing just one key part that was malfunctioning."

Removing the need to disassemble the rocket and allowing the country to launch Nuri within its alternative launch window ending June 23rd.
And so it happened: one more trip to the launch pad, fuel injection, pre-launch operation and finally three, two, one lift-off.
With a roar, the ground shook before Nuri, powered by its 75-ton liquid fuel engines, blasted into space.

"Now Seong-woo, what a sight that was. I mean Nuri blasting off into space. I imagine the Naro Space Center was in high spirits and currently is in high spirits right now."

"The three stage space rocket, after reaching its target altitude of 700 kilometers, placed both its performance verification satellite holding four functioning mini cube satellites and its 1.3-ton dummy satellite into orbit seventy seconds apart at around four fifteen PM."

Claps of joy ensued and an hour later, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute and the Ministry of Science and ICT held a joint presser on site declaring "mission accomplished."

"Nuri reached its target altitude and successfully placed the performance satellite into orbit."

With four more launches scheduled by 2027, the crew left Naro Space Center the following morning knowing that though the Nuri project is far from over South Korea's space endeavors have only just begun.
From the Naro Space Center in Goheung, Jeollanam-do Province, that was Kim Do-yeon, Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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