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S. Korea delays test launch of space rocket engine

All Headlines 18:08 October 17, 2018

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will delay the first test flight of its locally developed booster engine due to mechanical problems, the government said Wednesday.

The 75-ton thrust, single-stage rocket developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute Province (KARI), was originally set to be launched on Oct. 25 from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, the Ministry of Science and ICT said.

The ministry said it convened a meeting of experts earlier Wednesday to delay the launch as abnormal readings were detected in the rocket propellant pressurization system.

"It may be inevitable to delay the launch by one or two months to examine in detail the cause of the drop in pressure and come up with a fix," said a ministry official who asked not to be named.

The rocket was set to fly for about 10 minutes, during which the performance of the new engine, flight controls and other parts were to be monitored, the ministry said.

If successful, four of the indigenous thrust engines will be used on the first stage and one on the second stage of the three-stage Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 (KSLV-2), KARI said. The whole rocket is scheduled to blast off in 2021.

The KSLV-2 rocket is to be South Korea's first space vehicle wholly designed and built in the country. It will be used to place unmanned satellites into Earth orbit and for other commercial applications.

S. Korea delays test launch of space rocket engine - 1

khj@yna.co.kr
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