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LAUNCH PAD
S. Korea plans fresh rocket launch in October
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) July 19, 2012


South Korea will make a third attempt this October at a rocket launch aimed at placing a satellite into orbit, its science ministry said Thursday.

The decision follows an endorsement by a national space committee, the ministry added.

Russia is building the first-stage main launch booster, while South Korea is in charge of the second-stage rocket.

South Korea has long term ambitions of putting a satellite into orbit using a domestically assembled rocket, a feat that would allow it to join an exclusive club of nations currently numbering nine.

The country has until now sent satellites into space using launch vehicles from other countries.

In 2009, a rocket reached orbit but faulty release mechanisms prevented proper deployment of a scientific satellite.

An attempt a year later resulted in an explosion due to problems in the rocket's electrical system after it had veered off course.

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