Window for retry of Naro launch set for Nov. 9-24

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Window for retry of Naro launch set for Nov. 9-24

Korea yesterday set new possible dates for the launch of its first space rocket after a previously scheduled launch was called off due to a defective part.

The Launch Preparation Committee set Nov. 9 to 24 as the new window for the launch of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), with Nov. 9 singled out as the most likely date.

“Based on the interim outcome of an investigation on the defective part and considering the amount of time needed for a more thorough investigation, the committee decided the launch of the KSLV-1 will be possible starting from Nov. 9,” it said in a release.

The rocket, also known as Naro-3, was set to be launched Friday, but the launch was called off due to a broken rubber seal in the connector between the launch pad and the rocket’s first-stage thrust engine.

Korea has agreed to send the broken seal back to its Russian manufacturer, the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, to see if the seal is the only problem or if it broke because of other undetected problems, such as a gap between the seal and the part it surrounds, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), Korea’s main space program developer.

“No gas leak or damage to a replaced seal was detected in a test for air-tightness conducted on Oct. 27 and the Korea-Russia Flight Test Committee, which was convened in the afternoon of Oct. 27, has decided the problem was insignificant,” the Launch Preparation Committee said.

“However, the research teams of Korea and Russia agreed to conduct an additional analysis as part of efforts to more thoroughly prepare for an eventual launch and send the damaged seal to Moscow today for an additional analysis,” it added.

There are only certain periods in the year when a space rocket can be sent into space due to various issues, such as solar activity.

A KARI official earlier said such a window is open only until mid-November this year.

Korea’s two earlier attempts to send the KSLV-1 into space in August 2009 and June 2010 ended in failure.


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