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(2nd LD) S. Korea's space rocket launch delayed as strong winds disrupt transportation

All News 10:09 June 14, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with details throughout; CHANGES headline, lead; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has decided to postpone this week's scheduled launch of its space rocket Nuri by one day over safety concerns due to strong winds at the launch site, the science ministry said Tuesday.

Nuri was initially set to make its second launch attempt on Wednesday at Naro Space Center in the country's southern coastal village of Goheung, eight months after the first trial in October ended in partial success.

The launch has now been moved to Thursday after the government and Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) decided to delay Tuesday's scheduled rocket transportation to the launchpad also by one day to Wednesday.

This photo provided by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute on June 13, 2022, shows the fully assembled Nuri rocket, also known as KSLV-II, at the Naro Space Center in the country's southern coastal village of Goheung. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"Strong winds are blowing at Naro Space Center, and there is the possibility that the winds could grow stronger," the ministry said. The ministry concluded that ensuring the safety of workers at the launch site could be difficult due to wind conditions.

Authorities expect the rocket launch setup to take place Wednesday, as the weather condition in the region appears to be improving.

In October, Nuri, which weighs 200 tons and measures 47.2 meters in height, successfully flew to a target altitude of 700 kilometers but failed to put a dummy satellite into orbit as its third-stage engine burned out earlier than expected.

Unlike the first launch, which carried a dummy satellite, actual satellites will be on the rocket this time. Nuri also underwent reinforcements of an anchoring device of the helium tank inside the third-stage oxidizer tank.

The rocket is a three-stage, liquid-fueled carrier rocket developed entirely with homegrown technologies. Nearly 2 trillion won (US$1.8 billion) has been spent to develop the Nuri-ho since 2010.

South Korea plans to conduct four additional Nuri rocket launches by 2027 as part of efforts to further advance the country's space rocket program.

South Korea's first homegrown space launch vehicle, known as Nuri, takes off from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, on Oct. 21, 2021. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)


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