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Fire breaks out at space center during fuel test for next generation space rocket

All News 15:31 February 01, 2023

SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) -- A fire has broken out at a national space center in southern South Korea during an experiment on a turbopump for a next generation space rocket, the science ministry said Wednesday.

The fire started at 3:25 p.m. Tuesday at the Naro Space Center in the country's southern coastal village of Goheung and was extinguished about an hour later, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

The ministry said some experimental equipment was affected by the fire but reported no injuries.

The fire broke out while researchers were conducting an experiment to develop a 10-ton turbopump that injects fuel into an engine for a new space rocket, codenamed KSLV-III.

The ministry said the incident has nothing to do with the third launch of Nuri, or KSLV-II, the country's first homegrown space rocket, slated for May.

"The very experiment is part of the country's project to develop a turbopump for a next generation rocket, and it is irrelevant to the planned launch of Nuri," the ministry said in a statement.

With Nuri's successful second launch in June last year, South Korea is planning to carry out four additional Nuri rocket launches, including the one for 2023, by 2027.

At the same time, the country initiated the 2 trillion-won (US$1.6 billion) project to develop the KSLV-III rocket, beginning this year, and plans to launch the space vehicle three times by 2032.

The Naro Space Center in Goheung, 330 kilometers south of Seoul (Yonhap)

The Naro Space Center in Goheung, 330 kilometers south of Seoul (Yonhap)


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