[Photo by Yonhap]
South Korea’s homegrown rocket Nuri, also known as KSLV-Ⅱ, is poised for its much-anticipated launch with multiple commercial satellites on board.
The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) have scheduled the third launch of Nuri for Wednesday at 6:24 p.m.
The primary objective of the mission is to place eight commercial-grade satellites into orbit at an altitude of 550 kilometers. While the previous second launch in June last year successfully achieved satellite orbit insertion, its focus was on validating Nuri’s satellite launch capability.
Hanwha Aerospace Co. will participate in the latest launch preparation and operation process. The involvement presents the company with an opportunity to acquire the necessary technology for private-sector-led Nuri launches, marking the advent of a new era in private space exploration.
On Tuesday, Nuri emerged from the assembly building at the Naro Space Center in Goheung County, South Jeolla Province, at 7:20 a.m. and made its way to the launch pad, standing tall against the sky.
The umbilical cable, responsible for supplying power and charging the fuel and oxidizer for Nuri, was connected, and a thorough inspection to ensure the propulsion system’s security was completed at 9:14 p.m., marking the successful conclusion of the launch preparation.
The launch may be postponed if local weather conditions prove unfavorable. The final launch time will be confirmed after 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. As of now, the scheduled launch time for Nuri is 6:24 pm on Wednesday.
Nuri consists of three stages, with the flight commencing once the first stage reaches a thrust of 300 tons after engine ignition. At this point, the four vehicle holding devices (VHDs) that have been securing Nuri in place will be released.
The separation of the first stage occurs approximately 125 seconds after liftoff at an altitude of 64.5 kilometers. After 234 seconds, the fairing, a protective cover for the satellite payload, will separate at an altitude of 204 kilometers.
Following 272 seconds from launch, the second stage will separate at an altitude of 258 kilometers. Finally, after 783 seconds, Nuri will reach its intended target altitude of 550 kilometers.
At this stage, the separation of the mounted satellites will commence. The completion of satellite separation is expected to occur 923 seconds after launch.
The Ministry of Science and ICT plans to announce the results of the Nuri launch, including its success or failure, about one hour and 20 minutes after the launch, at 7:44 p.m.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]