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Pres. Moon: Launch of Nuri Marks Great Achievement

Written: 2021-10-21 19:11:56Updated: 2021-10-21 19:19:03

Pres. Moon: Launch of Nuri Marks Great Achievement

Photo : YONHAP News

President Moon Jae-in has dubbed the launch of Korea's first locally-developed space launch vehicle Nuri a significant achievement for the nation's budding space program, despite failing to attain its ultimate goal. 

Addressing the nation shortly after the launch of Nuri rocket Thursday, the president said the Korea Aerospace Research Institute(KARI) was unable to place a dummy satellite into orbit. Still, Nuri's flight exceeding an altitude of over seven-hundred kilometers after a successful liftoff is a tremendous achievement that brought South Korea one step closer to its dreams of space exploration.

The president also showed confidence that Nuri will make a flawless success in its next attempt set for May, next year.

Vowing further support for the development of Korea's own solid-fuel rocket engine by 2024, he also laid out ambitious plans to send a lunar orbiter next year and achieve the  country's dream of landing on the moon by 2030.

Nuri space rocket blasted off at 5 p.m. from Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, completing all flight sequences including all-stage separations, ignitions and jettison of fairings at around 5:30 p.m. However it ultimately did not manage to put a one-point-five ton dummy satellite into orbit. 

KARI said it is carefully analyzing flight data and  relevant information to find the cause of the failure. The success rate for newly developed rockets stands roughly at 30 percent.

Previous launches in 2009 and 2010 both ended in failure, followed by a successful launch of the Naro rocket in 2013, the first stage of which was built in Russia.

South Korea has so far poured in nearly two trillion won or one-point-eight billion U.S. dollars into the Nuri project.

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