S. Korea tests homegrown second-stage rocket

Posted on : 2008-04-03 11:29 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST

A locally developed second-stage rocket has been put through a live sequence test to determine if it can send its payload safely into orbit, the state-run aerospace research institute said Thursday.

The comprehensive test conducted on the upper portion of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) checked the nose fairing separation mechanism, the kick motor rocket and various controls needed to deploy a satellite into a proper orbit.

Scientists at the Deajeon-based Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) also examined the rocket's ability to maintain its bearing, allow the satellite to separate, and end its mission according to the full operational sequence.

The second stage part of the KSLV-1 measures 2.9 meters in diameter and 7.75 meters in length. It will be sent into space in December from the Naro Space Center in December.

"The checkup allowed the second stage rocket to go through the entire process after it separates from the main booster," said a KARI scientist.

The rocket's nose fairing is designed to come off at around 166 kilometers from earth, with the second stage boosters to ignite at an altitude of 300 kilometers from the planet's surface. This will hurl the scientific satellite into a pre-set orbit.

KARI said that while the first stage of the KSLV-1 is being made in Russia, local engineers took full responsibility for the building of the second stage rocket.

The design, manufacture, assembly and initial testing of the inertial navigation system, electronics, flight controls, safety and the kick motor rocket were made without outside assistance.

The nose fairing, which makes up the tip of the rocket, was also made in the country.

The space research laboratory said such know-how will be used to full advantage in all future rockets made in the country.

KARI, meanwhile, said the second stage part of the rocket will be moved to the Naro center in Goheung, about 485 kilometers south of Seoul, in September to await the arrival of the main booster rocket from Russia that may arrive in October.

The KSLV-1 is a two-stage rocket with a liquid fuel main booster and a solid fuel kick motor rocket. Its total weight is 140 tons and its length is 33 meters.

If the launch takes place without a hitch, South Korea will be the eighth country in the world to build its own satellite and rocket and send it into space.

At present, only the United States, Russia, Japan, China, France, India and Israel have reached that level, with Brazil trying to catch up with the leaders.

SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap)