[Photo provided by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute]
South Korea on Wednesday successfully tested out a single-stage rocket powered by an engine fully developed by its nationals from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, making a leap towards its goal of putting its first indigenous space vehicle into the orbit by 2021.
The launch was delayed from October due to a technical problem.
The suborbital test launch was aimed to evaluate the performance of the booster engine, a single 75-ton-class liquid engine, developed as part of the country’s 1.96 trillion won ($1.73 billion) project to launch Korea Space Launch Vehicle KSLV-II, dubbed Nuri.
It flew for five minutes after liftoff to reach the target altitude of 209 kilometers and then completed the 10-minute flying mission on international waters near the Jeju Island.
The predecessor KSLV-I rocket was launched in January 2013 powered by Russian engine after two failures in 2009 and 2010.
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