Mission failure: South Korean rocket launch to deploy dummy satellite in orbit is unsuccessful

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South Korea failed in its mission on Thursday to put a test payload in orbit using its first home-developed space rocket, the Korea Space Launch Vehicle II.

Though the rocket was launched successfully on Thursday evening, achieving an altitude of 700km, the deployment of the payload – a dummy satellite – into orbit was not successful.

“Unfortunately, we did not fully reach our goal,” President Moon Jae-in said following the launch, explaining that the attempt to put a “dummy satellite into orbit remains an unfinished mission.”

South Korea’s Nuri rocket lifts off from Naro Space Centre. It’s the country’s first domestically made launch vehicle pic.twitter.com/duzJ6l132K

— Sarwat Nasir (@SarwatNasir) October 21, 2021

Moon reassured South Koreans that although the mission “fell short of achieving its goals perfectly,” the country has “achieved very good feats with our first launch.”

“Countries that lead in space technology will lead the future, and we are not too late to do it,” he added, before concluding, “The ‘Korea Space Age’ is approaching.”

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) will make a second attempt at deploying the payload in May.

South Korea has a less developed space program than some of its neighbors in Asia, including China, which is currently operating a manned space station in Earth’s orbit. North Korea has its own space program, operated by its National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA), which was founded in 2013.

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