South Korea Launches First Homegrown Rocket and Satellite Into Space
Today, South Korea launched its first homegrown rocket into space, representing a huge step for the country in space technology. Very few countries have been able to do the same, including the US, China, and Russia. The development will likely be instrumental in expanding Seoul’s military satellite surveillance of North Korea. The rocket, called Korea Satellite Launch Vehicle II or Nuri, is a three-stage, liquid-fuel rocket. It took off from the Naro Space Center in Goheung at 5 p.m. local time.
However, the 200-ton rocket failed to reach orbit after being launched into space at an altitude of 435 miles. The launch comes as tensions between South and North Korea have worsened. Kim Jong Un recently claimed to have test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine. The tests would mark Pyongyang’s fifth weapons assessment in recent weeks. Although North Korea has not responded to the launch, the country has been quick to criticize Seoul’s efforts to enhance its national defenses.