South Korea was set to wrap up the assembly of its homegrown space rocket Nuri on Sunday, with three days to go before the planned third launch, coming about a year after its successful test launch, the science ministry said.
Nuri, or KSLV-II, is set to lift off from the Naro Space Center in the country’s southern coastal village of Goheung on Wednesday, and officials will complete its assembly and make final inspections on Sunday, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).
The process for the assembly and other preparations has been progressing without a hitch, they added, reports Yonhap news agency.
Nuri is the core part of South Korea’s 1.9 trillion-won ($1.44 billion) project to launch 1.5-ton satellites into a low Earth orbit by its own space rocket between 2010-2023.
In 2021, Nuri successfully flew to its target altitude of 700 kms but failed to put a dummy satellite into orbit, as its third-stage engine burned out earlier than expected.
On its second attempt in 2022, Nuri successfully completed its flight sequence and deployed dummy satellites at the target altitude of 700 kms as planned.
This time, Nuri will perform a mission to launch practical satellites into orbit and will carry eight satellites, including the country’s second next-generation small satellite and four microsatellites developed by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, codenamed SNIPE.
It is the first time that Nuri is tasked with handling separate multiple satellites in one flight, officials said.