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South Korea set for rocket launch

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8208387.stm

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South Korea is preparing to launch its first rocket into space.

The two-stage vehicle, which has been developed with the assistance of Russia, will blast off from the Naro space complex, 475km south of Seoul.

The rocket, named the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), will seek to place in orbit a 100kg satellite.

The event will be monitored by rival North Korea, which has been criticised by the international community for pursuing its own rocket programme.

Earlier this year, the North announced that it had successfully orbited a satellite of its own; but the claim was dismissed by the US, Japan and South Korea who called the April flight a cover for a test of ballistic missile technology.

The KSLV-1 launch is scheduled to take place between 0740 and 0920GMT.

The rocket is 33m long and weighs some 140 tonnes. Its Russian liquid-fuelled first-stage is said to produce 1,700 kilonewtons of thrust at launch.

The second stage, which burns a solid fuel, was produced by South Korean engineers. It is intended to generate 80kN of thrust and is designed to place the Earth observation satellite into its final orbit.

South Korea wants to develop an advanced space programme to compete with other Asian space-faring nations - China, Japan and India.

It has already launched 10 indigenously produced satellites on other countries' rockets.

In April last year, Seoul sent its first astronaut into space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.

Yi So-Yeon spent 11 days on the International Space Station (ISS), carrying out experiments for the government and industry.






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I wonder how long it will be before we see the first JML moon rocket for £59.95 + £5.95 P&P and free 128 piece quality Global Positioning System?

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Martyn's gone to bed. I guess he'll miss the launch of the S. Korean rocket. Actually I might miss it as well, I'm not going to be up for long ( ooer missus )

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SKorea satellite lost after launch: officials

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id ... _article=1

A satellite launched by South Korea's first space rocket is thought to have burnt up in the Earth's atmosphere after missing its designated orbit, officials said Wednesday.

Seoul vowed to press on with its drive to become a space technology leader despite Tuesday's setback, caused by the defective operation of a fairing covering the satellite.

The science and technology ministry said one of the two aerodynamic fairings covering the rocket's tip failed to fall away, after opening in preparation for the satellite's release.

Because of the fairing's weight the second stage of the rocket could not achieve enough thrust to place the satellite in orbit. Its speed fell to 6.2 kilometres per second instead of an optimum eight kilometres per second.

Deputy science minister Kim Jung-Hyun said the extra weight also caused the rocket to steer upwards and the satellite to be released at a higher altitude than planned.

The satellite reached an altitude of 387 kilometres (242 miles).

"After reaching this height, it fell to Earth and was probably destroyed as it re-entered the atmosphere," Kim said.

South Korea had invested more than 500 billion won (400 million dollars) and much national pride in the satellite and the 33-metre (108-foot) rocket.

The first stage was built in collaboration with Russia's Khrunichev space centre. The second stage, including the defective fairings, was constructed by local engineers who also built the 100-kilogram (220-pound) research satellite.

"South Korea was in charge of the separation of fairings while Russia was in charge of overall technical assistance. Therefore the two countries share the responsibility," Kim told reporters.

"Further discussions (with Russia) will be held on this point."

The launch had been delayed seven times since 2005, most notably last week when the countdown was stopped eight minutes before blastoff.

"We can say it was half successful, though the satellite failed to enter orbit," President Lee Myung-Bak told a cabinet meeting Tuesday evening, Lee was quoted by his spokesman as saying.

"We must realise our dream of becoming a leading country in space technology, even if it takes an eighth attempt after seven failures or a ninth attempt after eight failures."

Korea Aerospace Research Institute expert Chae Yeon-Seok was more upbeat.

"Despite the glitch, this was a success as all main systems including the two brand-new first and second-stage rockets operated normally," Chae told AFP.

North Korea, smarting at the UN Security Council's censure of its own April 5 rocket launch, had vowed to closely monitor reaction to its neighbour's launch from Goheung on the south coast.

Washington and its allies said the launch by the nuclear-armed North was a disguised test of a long-range missile. South Korea limits its own missiles to a 300 kilometre range under an accord with its ally the United States.

US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday the South's space programme had been developed "in a responsible manner".

The nation has previously sent 10 satellites into space using launch vehicles from other countries.

In November 2007 it announced an ambitious plan to launch a lunar orbiter by 2020 and to send a probe to the Moon five years after that.

South Korea unveiled the lunar project one month after China launched its first lunar orbiter and two months after Japan did the same.

In April last year Seoul sent its first astronaut into space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket.




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Oh dear. Back to the drawing board.

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