by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Dec 3, 2012
South Korea has postponed its third bid to put a satellite in orbit until next year, after a technical problem forced the cancellation of last week's scheduled launch, an official said Monday.
"We have decided not to launch the rocket this month," a science ministry official said.
Engineers are now conducting a "comprehensive" check of the rocket's second stage that will take more than one month, the official said, declining to speculate on when a new attempt could be made.
The 140-tonne Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-1) was removed from the launch pad at the Naro Space Center on the south coast on Thursday after engineers detected a propulsion system problem with just minutes left on the launch countdown clock.
It was to have been South Korea's third attempt to put a satellite in orbit and gain entry to an elite global space club that includes Asian powers China, India and Japan.
After successive failures with the same KSLV-1 in 2009 and 2010, the current mission is seen as crucial to the future of South Korea's space programme.
The third attempt has now been suspended two times.
Originally scheduled for October 26, it was first delayed by more than a month after engineers detected a broken rubber seal in a connector between the launch pad and the first stage.
The KSLV-1 has a first stage manufactured by Russia and a solid-fuel second stage built by South Korea.
North Korea announced Saturday that it would launch a long-range rocket -- ostensibly aimed at placing a satellite in orbit -- between December 10 and 22.
The United States and its key Asian military allies, South Korea and Japan, insist the launch is a disguised ballistic missile test that violates UN resolutions triggered by Pyongyang's two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|