A new chapter in spaceFailures of the past cannot justify the scrapping of Korea’s space dream. A new countdown has begun for a third launch of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), also known as Naro-1, after our hopes were shattered in 2009 and 2010. This will be our last attempt to employ a Russian-made first-stage rocket for our space program. If the Naro-1 successfully puts a satellite into orbit 302 kilometers (188 miles) above the earth after being fired from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla, Korea will join the ranks of advanced space club members. It will be the 10th. That’s a priceless honor earned by a country that has learned how to shoot its own satellite into orbit above the earth.
Despite the fact that Korea had to purchase a $200 million first-stage rocket from Russia because of a lack of production technology, the launch, if successful, will be a great achievement made possible by our scientists’ collaboration with industry and academia. Korean Air took part in assembling the parts, and Hanwha Group provided explosives for propulsion. Hankuk Fiber developed the fuselage and other special materials, and the Satellite Technology Research Center of Kaist helped make the satellite. All of these achievements come together in what amounts to an indispensable process for our entering the age of space power. Considering a shortness in supply of technology, budget and manpower compared to advanced nations, such a remarkable advancement should be appreciated as it is all owed to the ceaseless determination and passion of our scientists.
Korea’s scientific circles have longed for a successful launch of Naro-1 as it is a much needed achievement for our scientific world, a launch into an uncharted way that will lead to the development of new industries. That’s why our space development project must continue for our next generations.
Our reporters who visited the site before the launch said that the launch team’s eyes were brimming with confidence and enthusiasm, and they don’t show any discouragement from the two previous failures. Space development is like a flower blossoming after severe weather. The two failures are nothing but part of the learning curve for a larger success. We expect our scientists to do their best until the last minute. The government and industry must invest heavily to elevate our technology to a higher level to ensure our sovereignty in space.