January 23, 2013

South Korea Preparing Commercial Satellite Launch

January 19, 2013

South Korea announced it will attempt to launch a satellite into orbit in the coming weeks.  The tentative launch window between January 30 and February 8 follows two previous launch delays in October and November of last year.

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), which weighs roughly 140 tons, combines a Russian made first stage as well as a South Korean built solid-fuel second stage.  The satellite will reportedly collect data and information on space radiation.  South Korea has had two successive unsuccessful satellite launches in 2009 and 2010.

These failures serve to increases the importance of its upcoming attempt.  Success of failure will have an impact on South Korea’s desires to establish a viable commercial space industry.

Although South Korea’s program is transparent and clearly focused on civilian applications, a successful launch would likely to further raise tensions with North Korea.

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