South Korea hails successful launch of homegrown rocket

SEOUL-South Korea said Thursday it had successfully launched its homegrown Nuri rocket and placed working satellites into orbit, hailing a key step forward for the country’s burgeoning space programme.
It was the third launch of the Nuri, which successfully put test satellites into orbit last year after a failed 2021 attempt saw the rocket’s third-stage engine burn out too early.
The three-stage rocket, more than 47 metres (155 feet) long and weighing 200 tonnes, soared into the sky at 6:24 pm (0924 GMT) from the Naro Space Center in South Korea’s southern coastal region, leaving a huge trail of white smoke.
“We report to the public that the third launch of Nuri, which was independently developed to secure domestic space transportation capacity, has been successfully completed,” said Lee Jong-ho, minister of science and technology. The main satellite made communication with South Korea’s King Sejong Station in Antarctica, he said, adding that the launch confirmed “our potential for launch services for various satellite operations and space exploration”. South Korea will carry out three more launches of Nuri by 2027, Lee added.

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