South Korea to attempt first space launch Wednesday
South Korea is making a second attempt to put a Naro-1 satellite into Earth's orbit with a locally assembled rocket. The first try failed last year because of a malfunction.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute plans to launch the Naro-1 satellite to Earth orbit Wednesday, June 9, 2010 from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, South Korea, 485 kilometers south of Seoul.
The KSLV-1 (with the Naro-1 satellite) is South Korea's second locally assembled space rocket. The first, which lifted off on August 25, 2009 failed to place a 100 kilogram scientific satellite into orbit due to a malfunction in the fairing assembly.
South Korea, with no experience in building space rockets, sought Russian help in 2002 for the Naro-1 project. The country will develop a larger rocket by 2020 that can send an unmanned probe to the Moon. An estimated $418 million USD has been expended on the project in hopes of becoming only the tenth country on the planet capable of successfully launch a satellite from its own soil.
Korea has already notified both the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization of the Wednesday launch and has reserved a ten day "launch window" in case of unforeseen contingencies. More from Yonhap News Agency.
Jack Kennedy blogs at Spaceports.