Korea to launch rocket
The Republic of South Korea government Web site announced that the Korean Space Center will plan a launch of its second KSLV-1 “Naro” Space Rocket on June 9, 2010. The launch is intended to place S. Korea’s second scientific satellite into orbit. The satellite has been transferred to the Goheung Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, and is currently undergoing tests to clear up any possible technical problems.
“After carefully reviewing ongoing preparations, technical evaluations and optimum launch conditions we have decided to schedule the launch for June 9th,” stated Kim Young-sik, Deputy Minister of ROK Science & Technology Policy, who also reports that officials are planning a launch time between the hours of 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., however, they are maintaining a flexible launch timeframe that could be changed on the day of the launch.
He added that weather conditions are the major factors but that other possible contingencies could cause the lift-off to be postponed until June 19th.
Kim also noted that the lift-off time also must take into consideration the positioning of satellites and other objects currently circling the Earth to avoid possible collisions.
The NARO rocket includes a solid-fuel second-stage rocket, a Russian-made liquid-fuel first-stage booster. Officials stated the Naro satellite carrier should be completely assembled by the end of May and from there on final consultations with Russian engineers will be held in early June.
If all goes well, the KSLV-1 will be moved to the launch pad two days prior to the lift-off date.
The planned launch follows the “half success” of Korea’s first space rocket which ran into problems when the fairings that covered the satellite failed to eject properly and made it impossible for the satellite to reach orbit.
Officials stated that several adjustments have been made to correct the problems that caused the fairing malfunction.