Second launch of a South Korean rocket has been postponed to June 21

(ORDO NEWS) — The second launch of the first South Korean rocket of its own production is scheduled for June 21, the delay was a week due to strong winds and a technical problem.

“We called a meeting of the launch management committee and decided to conduct the second launch on June 21st,” Kwon Hyun-jun, a senior official at the Ministry of Science, said at a live media briefing on June 17.

Kwon said the three-stage KSLV-2 rocket, powered by kerosene and liquid oxygen, lay flat in the Naro Space Center hangar after a faulty sensor in the first stage upper stage was replaced with a new one.

The rocket will be taken to the launch pad on June 20, he said.

The second launch of KSLV-2 was originally scheduled for June 15, with a reserve launch window covering June 16-23.

However, it was delayed the next day due to high winds – and delayed again after engineers discovered a problem with a level sensor installed in the booster’s first stage oxidizer tank during the last pre-launch check at the launch pad.

According to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the faulty sensor’s readings remained static while filling the tank. The rocket was taken from the launch pad to the hangar on June 15, after which an inspection was carried out to determine the cause of the malfunction.

Engineers identified the problematic part of the sensor and replaced it, KARI said, with Kwon saying that after inspecting the rocket, they found no other problems.

Kwon noted that the rescheduled launch date is subject to change depending on weather conditions.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, rain is expected at the Naro Space Center on June 21 with a probability of 60-70%.

KSLV-2 is the first South Korean space rocket of its own design, capable of launching up to 1,500 kilograms of payload into low Earth orbit. The first stage of the rocket is equipped with a cluster of four KRE-075 engines, the second stage with one KRE-075 engine, and the third stage with a KRE-007 engine.

During its first flight on October 21, the rocket reached its planned altitude, but the third stage engine shut down 46 seconds early, releasing a 1,500-kilogram mock payload at sub-orbital speed.

According to KARI, the dummy fell back to Earth south of Australia. The premature shutdown of the engine was later blamed on improperly secured helium tanks in the upper stage.

In the upcoming launch, the rocket will carry five satellites – a 180-kilogram performance test satellite and four smaller satellites developed by Korean universities.

In addition to the upcoming launch, South Korea is planning four more KSLV-2 launches by 2027 as part of an effort to further develop the country’s rocket and space program.


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