Watch South Korea launches first domestically made space rocket Nuri
12:30, 21 October 2021
South Korea has launched its first domestically grown space rocket Nuri on Thursday, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute reported.
The three-stage Korean Satellite Launch Vehicle II (KSLV-II) blasted off from the Naro Space Center Goheung located 310 miles south of Seoul making South Korea the seventh country to successfully launch a satellite into orbit.
However, it failed to place a dummy satellite into orbit, President Moon Jae-in said later on Thursday.
Moon praised Korean scientists and engineers for developing the space rocket that reached a target altitude of 700 kilometers, describing it as a "creditable achievement in the first launch."
"Unfortunately, the goal was not fully achieved. Stably putting a dummy satellite into orbit remains an unfinished task. However, lifting a launch vehicle to an altitude of 700 kilometers is a great feat in itself and made us inch closer to space," Yonhap News Agency cited South Korea's leader.
"The test launch of Nuri-ho was completed. I am proud of it."
Nuri which means "world" cost the country approximately $1.6 bln to develop.
Weighing 200 tonnes the rocket is fitted with six liquid-fuelled engines. KSLV-II contains four 75-tonne boosters in the first stage, one 75-tonne engine in the second stage, and 7-tonne another small one in the third.
Previously, Seoul's attempt to enter the international space race failed with the unsuccessful rocket launches back in 2009 and 2010.
South Korea announced its plans to carry out four more fires of the Nuri until 2027 aiming to send the probe to the Moon by 2030.