S. Korea, Russia plan to launch 3rd Naro-1 rocket next year
News Date: 16th August 2010
South Korea and Russia plan to launch a third
Naro-1 rocket next year after officially confirming that the June 10 blastoff failed to accomplish its mission, the government said Sunday.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said experts from the two countries who were present at the third Failure Review Board (FRB)
meeting last week agreed that the rocket launch had been a failure.
The experts added they will work together to find the cause of the mishap
and make necessary modifications to the rocket.
"Because of the time needed to determine the cause and make changes to the rocket itself, the next launch will probably take place in 2011," said Yoo Guk-hee, head of the ministry's space development division.
He said that since investigations are ongoing, no details of what was exchanged by the engineers can be made public at the present time.
The FRB needed to confirm that the June liftoff had failed in order for a third rocket to be built and launched in accordance with the bilateral agreement covering the Naro-1 program. Under the program that began in 2002, two rockets were to be launched, although if one failed, Seoul could ask for a third launch.
Thirteen experts from each side took part in the meeting held at Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul, with both sides reviewing various hypotheses on why all contact with the jointly built 140-ton rocket was lost.
Contact with the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 was severed 136 seconds after blastoff from the Naro Space Center off the southwestern coast of the country. The rocket had reached an altitude of about 70 kilometers before an explosion was observed by a TV camera monitoring its flight.
Yoo said additional tests and simulations will be conducted by engineers from all sides present to ensure an unbiased probe.
He said that after such tests have been carried out, a fourth FRB will be held to shed light on why the Naro-1 was lost.
Russia built the first stage liquid-fueled cryogenic rocket, while South Korea built the smaller second stage rocket powered by a solid propellant. It also built the 100 kilogram scientific satellite.
The launch carried out earlier in the year follows a "half-successful" blastoff in August 2009. In the first launch, the Naro-1 reached orbit, but a problem in the locally made fairing assembly made it impossible to deploy the satellite.
Seoul has spent 502.5 billion won (US$423.3 million) on the project in the past eight years. The project is part of a larger effort to build an
indigenous space rocket that can carry a medium-sized satellite into space around 2020.