SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- The following are fast facts about South Korea's homegrown space rocket Nuri, or the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-II (KSLV-II), which was launched from Naro Space Center in the country's southern coastal town of Goheung.
-- Nuri means "world" in Korean and is the name of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-II (KSLV-II) rocket. Nuri is a three-stage rocket developed to put satellites into low orbit of 600-800 kilometers above Earth.
-- The 47.2-meter-long, 200-ton Nuri rocket has a maximum diameter of 3.5 meters and uses four 75-ton liquid thrust engines in the first stage, a 75-ton liquid engine in the second stage and a 7-ton liquid engine in the third stage.
-- The first launch in October 2021 ended in partial success. Nuri successfully flew to a target altitude of 700 kilometers but failed to put a 1.5-ton dummy satellite into orbit as its third-stage engine burned out earlier than expected. A probe revealed the helium tank in the third-stage rocket fell off due to increased buoyancy during the flight and eventually caused the engine to shut off prematurely.
-- Following the first launch, Nuri underwent the reinforcement of an anchoring device of the helium tank inside the third-stage oxidizer tank.
-- For Tuesday's launch, Nuri will carry a 162.5-kilogram performance verification satellite meant to test the rocket's capabilities, and four cube satellites developed by four universities for academic research purposes, along with a 1.3-ton dummy satellite.
-- The launch site is Naro Space Center in Goheung, 473 kilometers south of Seoul.
-- Nuri is designed to fly southward from the launch site on the southern coast. The first stage is expected to fall 413 km away from the launch site and the second stage in the sea 2,800 km away from the launch site.
-- Its planned flight sequence shows the first stage separation will take place 127 seconds after the launch at an altitude of 59 km, with the fairing separation to come at 233 seconds at an altitude of 191 km. Then, the second stage separation will occur at 274 seconds at 258 km high. The verification satellite will be separated at 897 seconds at 700 km and the dummy satellite will be separated at 967 seconds at 700 km above the Earth.
-- South Korea has invested 1.96 trillion won (US$1.7 billion) since 2010 in the project. More than 300 domestic companies have taken part, including Hanwha Aerospace Co. that took charge of assembling the 75-ton liquid propellant rocket engines, dubbed "the heart" of the rocket.
-- Nuri was independently developed with South Korea's own rocket technologies -- from design and manufacturing to testing and launching, a significant leap forward for a country that has so far relied on foreign resources for space launch vehicle development.
-- A successful launch would make South Korea the seventh country in the world to have developed a space launch vehicle that can carry satellites weighing over 1 ton, following Russia, the United States, France, China, Japan and India.
-- South Korea has launched a preliminary feasibility study for the successor to Nuri with the goal of sending a lunar landing module to the moon in 2031.
Source: Yonhap News Agency