Tuesday, August 18, 2009

S Korea rocket moved to launch pad

South Korea has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into developing its space programme [EPA]

Final preparations have begun for the launch of South Korea's first space rocket, scheduled to blast off later this week after a series of delays.

Barring last minute technical problems or unfavourable weather, the KSLV-1 rocket is expected to launch on Wednesday from the purpose-built Naro space centre on an island off the country's south coast.

On Monday the 33-metre tall rocket, built with assistance from Russia, was transported from the assembly building to the launch-pad where it will undergo final tests and fuelling.

The rocket is carrying an experimental South Korean satellite along with the expectations of South Korean scientists who hope the launch will propel the country into an elite club of space-faring nations.

Government officials hope the project, which has cost hundreds of millions of dollars, will give a boost to the country's high-tech sector.

But the planned launch has also been criticised by neighbouring North Korea, which says it was unfairly punished for a similar launch earlier this year and is a victim of double standards.


Commenting on the planned South Korean launch, the North said last week that it would be watching closely to see whether the international community would also refer the South to the United Nations Security Council.

"Their reaction and attitude towards South Korea's satellite launch will one again clearly prove whether the principle of equality exists or has collapsed," a statement on the North's official news agency said.

According to North Korean state media its April launch of a three-stage rocket successfully placed an experimental communications satellite into orbit.

The US and it allies however say no satellite was detected in orbit, and that the launch was cover for a test of the North's long-range missile technology.

In response to the launch, the security council tightened international sanctions against North Korea, prompting Pyongyang to announce it was pulling out of six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.

A month later North Korea conducted its second nuclear test.

South Korean space officials insist their own planned rocket launch cannot be compared to the North's rocket and poses no security threat.

"We can't put the North's rocket launch on a parallel with ours," Park Jeong-joo, director of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, told reporters last month.

South Korea's rocket, he said, was "purely for scientific and peaceful purposes".

Source: Agencies

1 comment:

pria malaya said...

salam...sudi kiranya blog hamba dimasukkan ke dalam bloglist tuan hamba..terimakasih...

politik/ Pakatan Rakyat