Launch site to be center for space development

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Launch site to be center for space development

GOHEUNG, South Jeolla - The Naro Space Center, the site of Korea’s planned space rocket launch, will be further developed into the home of South Korea’s space development program that seeks to produce an indigenous space rocket by 2021, center operators said yesterday.

The center, located 485 kilometers (301 miles) south of Seoul, is again in the media spotlight as the country prepares to launch its Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), also known as Naro, today.

The launch will be Korea’s third attempt to send Naro into space after two botched attempts in August 2009 and June 2010.

The Naro Space Center currently sits on 5.11 million square meters (1,263 acres) of land after its first development plan was completed in June 2010, costing 331.4 billion won ($301 million), according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the state-run operator of the center.

It is equipped with a state-of-the-art mission director center, flight safety control facilities and a launch pad. It also has a meteorological observatory and a rocket assembly facility, along with radar and optical tracking systems that can follow the trajectory of rockets fired.

A second 582.7 billion won development plan began in 2009 to further expand the center and build an engine combustion test facility, which is an essential component for the development of the country’s indigenous rockets, according to KARI.

The KSLV-1 is a two-stage rocket with a Russian-built first stage engine and a Korean-made second-stage rocket. Yonhap

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