As Iran gets busy sending apes into space, and North Korea postures as it continues to test rockets and advance its nuclear program, South Korea had a launch of its own. Check in after the break for a close up and some details on the rocket…
Although part of the two-stage rocket was built by the Russians, South Korea sees the successful launching as having given it an important toehold in space technology, the latest high-tech market where the country has decided to become a player. By 2021, it says, it will launch a completely indigenous three-stage, liquid-fueled rocket capable of carrying a one-and-a-half-ton payload into orbit.
KSLV-1 was the first space rocket to take off from South Korea. The country bought its liquid-fueled first booster stage from the Russian company Khrunichev in a deal that included a transfer of technology to South Korean engineers. South Korea built the rocket’s solid-fueled second stage, which carried a small, 220-pound Naro science and technology satellite built by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.