NASA Eyes Closer Ties with South Korea

nasa_logoNASA predicts links with Korea space program
JoongAng Daily

Korea has the potential to become an important partner in efforts aimed at advancing exploration and technology for the peaceful use of space, the head of the U.S. aerospace administration said yesterday.


South Korea Aims to Bridge Space Gap Within 10 Years


The Yonhap News Agency reports that South Korea has set an ambitious goal for catching up with the world’s leading space powers:

South Korea aims to bridge the gap in rocket and satellite technology with leading countries in the field of space exploration over the next decade by ramping up research and development and expanding cooperation with foreign agencies, the head of a state aerospace institute said Friday.


Fairing Failure Doomed South Korean Satellite

Faulty shield eyed as cause of failure to orbit a satellite
JoongAng Daily

Officials yesterday morning stopped trying to detect the first space satellite launched from South Korea, tentatively concluding it had been destroyed by falling back into the atmosphere.


Did Korean Rocket Succeed or Fail? say there are conflicting reports as to whether South Korea’s launch of the KSLV-1 (Naro-1) rocket succeeded in placing a satellite into orbit last night:

South Korea had been claiming they had placed their STSAT-2 scientific satellite into orbit on Tuesday, following its launch on their KSLV-1 (Korea Satellite Launch Vehicle) “Naro” rocket. However, Russian officials cited by “Interfax” are claiming the vehicle failed during second stage flight. The launch came after last week’s scrub – caused by a problem during the automated launch sequence, relating to pressurization issue.

The first stage is Russian built; the second was produced in South Korea.

More updates to come.

KSLV-1 Team Leader: Effort Well Worth the Cost


The Hankyoreh has a Q&A interview with KSLV-1 Team Leader Park Jung-joo.

Q: What has Korea gained from technological cooperation with Russia?

A: “If we had tried [to develop the Naro] with our own strength alone, it would have been a formidable task. The first stage was produced by Russia, but we also participated in designing the launch vehicle system and built the launch pad, and Korean businesses participated and designed the orbit and so on. So we were able to gain experience and technology in a wide range of areas. Our engineers all got some experience, and so they realized we can do it ourselves next time. This is important.”

Read the full interview.

KSLV-1 Launch Reset for August 25

S. Korea reschedules first rocket launch for Aug. 25
Yonhap News

South Korea has rescheduled its first space rocket launch from its own territory for Aug. 25 after a technical glitch halted the countdown minutes before blastoff, the government said Friday.


Commentary: Korean-Russian Rocket Deal Stinks


The Naro Fiasco

by Hong Kwon-hee
The Dong-a Ilbo

Contrary to the Korean government’s claim of working together with Russia to develop the phase-one liquid-fuel rocket, Russia is spearheading the project while Korea has just bought the technology. Seoul says it will develop itself 80 percent of the technologies related to the launch pad, but Moscow has apparently declined to hand over design blueprints for the core technology.

The Korean government began the project to develop the rocket in 2002 even without the required technology. It envisioned buying advanced technology or taking a “quantum jump” by unofficially getting the technology from others. Russia, an advanced power in launch vehicle technology with whom Korea forged a partnership in 2005, has not transferred the technology. The Space Technology Protection Treaty signed between both sides at Russia’s request bans the transfer of technology on liquid fuel-powered engines, and has thus deepened Korean dependence on Russian technology. Support for research and development and political and diplomatic efforts are urgently needed to ensure that Korea catch up in space technology and secure technological independence.

Read the full op-ed.

South Korean Rocket Launch Delayed as Rhetoric Heats Up on Peninsula


Glitch forces SKorea to abort rocket launch
The Associated Press

A technical glitch forced South Korea to abort liftoff of its first rocket into space Wednesday, delaying a launch that threatened to heat up tensions with rival North Korea even as they joined in mourning the death of an ex-president who pushed tirelessly for reconciliation.


KSLV-1 (Naro-1) Update

Judging from what I’m seeing from Korean television, the launch of South Korea’s first rocket has been scrubbed. The countdown has been stopped. And the launch tower, which had been lowered for the launch, has been raised back up to the rocket. No word on why yet. At least none that I can decipher.

Live Tweets from the KSLV-1 (Naro-1) Launch

Korean astronaut Soyeon Li (@MsCoolAstro) at the ISU Space Masquerade Party on 9 August 2009.

Korean astronaut Soyeon Yi is Tweeting the KSLV-1 launch:

Bio: Wanna be a Crazy, Sexy & Cool Astronaut

Finish to fill the fuel in NARO…. Thrilling…

Around the rocket “NARO”, we can see the flowing fog from the liquid oxygen… Can feel that NARO will be launched soon…

We prepare the place to burn incense for the former president “Daejung Kim” near launch place.. May his soul rest in peace!

They start to fill Kerosine and liquid oxygen in NARO.. looks all process is fine until now.. ^^

Still have jet-lag… soooo tired.. Even during broadcasting, I’m with MD for getting caffeine…

Now we’ve got report “weather is fine for the launch” phew~
In 2 min, I’ll be on TV for broadcasting of the very 1st Korean rocket “NARO” launch… @.@

Koreans, French Funded New Russian Angara Booster

Russia's new Angara rocket

There’s an interesting sidelight to Wednesday’s upcoming launch of South Korea’s first rocket, KSLV-1 (Nano-1), that gives some valuable insights into how Russia conducts its space business.

The Russian-made lower-stage is actually the first stage of that nation’s new Angara family of rockets. The Korean government paid for the development, although the Russians are not sharing any of the technical details with them. (The Koreans have built the KSLV’s second stage using their own technologies.)


South Korean Rocket Prepared for Launch


S. Korea’s first rocket set up on launch pad
Yonhap News

S. Korea’s first space rocket has been safely put onto its launch pad ahead of its historic launch scheduled for this week, the state-run aerospace institute said Monday.