Tentative date set for rocket launch

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Tentative date set for rocket launch

Korea will launch its newest space rocket between Oct. 26-31, the government said yesterday, in a third attempt to put the country’s first-ever rocket into space.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology was earlier expected to set a specific launch date but said such a decision may come at the last minute after closely watching weather conditions and other factors that may affect the launch.

“The exact date and time of the launch will be decided based on various conditions such as the weather as we near the tentative launch date,” a ministry official told a press briefing.

“This also means the country may be unable to launch the space rocket during the cited period due to such conditions,” he said.

The ministry said factors affecting the launch of a space rocket may include the level of solar radiation and activities.

The ministry later noted the time of the launch will likely be between 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. in the evening as it will require up to eight hours of preparation on the date of the launch.

All related international organizations, such as the International Civil Aviation Organization, will be notified of the launch plans with Oct. 26 specified as the likely launch date.

The ministry said singling out a specific date from six possible dates was only for convenience.

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), also known as Naro-1, is the country’s first locally assembled space rocket with its first-stage rocket built by Russia’s Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center.

Two previous launches of the Naro-1 in August 2009 and June 2010 ended in utter failures and both earlier versions were lost in the attempts.

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