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(2nd LD) S. Korean space rocket positioned at launch pad ahead of 2nd launch

All News 19:09 June 20, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with latest details in first 2 paras; TRIMS)

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Monday completed the preparatory work for the launch of its homegrown space rocket Nuri, a day before its second attempt to send multiple satellites into orbit.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) erected Nuri, also known as KSLV-II, at the launch pad at Naro Space Center in the southern coastal village of Goheung and finished a pre-launch checkup at around 6:37 p.m.

South Korea had planned to launch the three-stage rocket last Thursday but a technical glitch in the oxidizer tank sensor forced the country to call off the liftoff. A new launch date has been set for Tuesday.

Oh Seung-hyub, director of KARI's launcher propulsion system development division, told reporters that the inspection of the rocket "has proceeded normally," including that of the oxidizer tank sensor, which caused a technical glitch last week.

The science ministry and KARI will hold a launch management committee meeting later in the day to decide whether to proceed with Tuesday's scheduled launch.

The liftoff is likely to take place at 4 p.m., but the exact time is scheduled to be announced at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

This photo provided by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute on June 20, 2022, shows South Korean space rocket Nuri being transported to the launch pad at Naro Space Center in Goheung, some 470 kilometers south of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The envisioned launch would be Nuri's second liftoff, following its maiden voyage in October.

In October, Nuri 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.

KARI engineers reinforced an anchoring device of the helium tank inside Nuri's third-stage oxidizer tank.

Nuri will be loaded with a 162.5-kilogram performance verification satellite to test the rocket's capabilities and four cube satellites, developed by four universities for academic research purposes, along with a 1.3-ton dummy satellite.

South Korea has invested nearly 2 trillion won (US$1.8 billion) in building Nuri since 2010. The project was carried out with domestically made technology on its own soil, including design, production, testing and launch operation.

The country 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 homegrown space rocket Nuri is erected at the launch pad at Naro Space Center in Goheung, some 470 kilometers south of Seoul, on June 20, 2022, a day before its scheduled launch. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

odissy@yna.co.kr
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