KSLV-1 Launch Scrubbed

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KSLV-1 first stage booster. (Credit: Khrunichev)

South Korea once again aborted the planned launch of the KSLV-1 rocket due to a problem with the domestically-built upper stage, according to media reports. This will likely delay the launch into next year.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said that it will determine the next launch date after a thorough inspection of the KSLV-1, but it is unlikely that the liftoff will take place this year as the current launch deadline is scheduled to end on Dec. 5. Engineers say it will take at least four to five days to figure out what went wrong and fix it.

The countdown was abruptly stopped 16 minutes and 52 seconds before the launch time of 4 p.m. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology immediately announced that there was a signal error from a thrust controller in the upper part of the rocket. The launch was officially aborted at 4:08 p.m.

Lee said the launch will be focused on success, hinting at a possible delay until spring next year….

The disappointing outcome follows two previous failures. In the first attempt in 2009, the rocket reached the desired orbit but failed to release its satellite due to a fairing malfunction. The second attempt saw the rocket explode minutes after its launch in 2010.

Officials aborted a launch attempt last month due to a problem with the Russian-built first stage.

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