Seoul: South Korea has cleared plans to launch the country's first space rocket, the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), in July. The country's National Space Committee has approved the launch, tentatively scheduled for 30 July at the Naro Space Centre in Goheung, about 475 km south of Seoul, a government statement said.
According to the state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute construction work on the rocket is complete and now work will begin to mate the first-stage main thruster to the second-stage space vehicle.
|Image credit:Yonhap News|
Russia built the first stage main thruster and also helped design the launch pad. South Korea has built the rocket's second stage as well as the satellite it will carry into orbit. The launch vehicle weighs 140 tonnes, stands 33 metres tall and has a diameter of three metres.
The launch of the KSLV-1 has been postponed twice. The first launch was postponed from late 2008 to late June this year after an earthquake in China's Sichuan province created problems in securing key parts. It was pushed back further to late July in order to provide engineers more time for tests.
The launch of the KSLV-1 will take place in the backdrop of North Korea's nuclear tests and attempts to launch a satellite, which the United States and its allies claim was actually a disguised long-range missile test.