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Nuri rocket’s 3rd launch set for May 24

KAIST-developed next-generation small satellite to be loaded onto Korea's rocket

April 11, 2023 - 14:57 By Kan Hyeong-woo
Engineers assemble the first and second stages of the Nuri rocket at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province. (Korea Aerospace Research Institute)

The third launch of Nuri, the Korean homegrown space launch vehicle, has been set to take place on May 24, the Ministry of Science and ICT said Tuesday.

According to the ministry, the Nuri rocket, also known as the Korean Satellite Launch Vehicle II, will blast off from the launch pad at 6:24 p.m. at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province. The preliminary launch period will be from May 25 to 31.

The ministry said that the Nuri rocket had completed the process of assembling the first and second stages and is undergoing various performance tests. The eight satellites, which will be loaded on the third stage of the rocket, are being tested for the space environment. They will be transferred to the Naro Space Center in early May and loaded on the third stage of the rocket in about three weeks.

The ministry will conduct a launch safety control exercise at the end of this month with 11 organizations taking part, including the military, police and local government officials.

“The Nuri rocket’s third launch is very meaningful as it marks the first trial to launch a working-level satellite and the first time for a system integration company to participate,” said Oh Tae-seog, first vice minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT.

One of the eight payloads on the Nuri rocket is a next-generation small satellite developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The Nuri rocket’s first successful launch in June last year carried a dummy satellite to verify the launch vehicle’s ability to put the satellite into the targeted orbit.

Hanwha Aerospace, which won the bid to take over the government project last year to advance the Nuri rocket and expand its role as the project supervisor in phases through 2027, is taking part in the third launch as a system integration company for the first time.

Working with the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Hanwha Aerospace is jointly carrying out the management process of assembling the rocket and the overall operation of the launch. The private company will continue to expand its role in the fourth launch slated for next year.