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KSLV - Korean Space Launch Vehicle

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) Russian made Ground Test Vehicle with The Republic of Korea second stage and payload shroud undergoing launch pad installation facilities testing April 15, 2009

Background History of the Space Program

In January 2005 it was reported that the Korea Aerospace Research Institute intended to buy 10 Russian «Angara» boosters, developed by GKPNTS Khrunichev. at that time the plan was that South Korea would develop its rocket technology in three phases. In the first phase is planned to build a launch vehicle KSLV-1 (Korea Space Launch Vehicle), which 80% will consist of details of the missile «Angara». Launch KSLV-1 will be used to output in low-Earth orbit satellites weighing up to 100 kg. Total plans to make 10 rocket KSLV-1, which will be purchased 10 missiles «Angara». Two of these rockets would be used for test runs, one - for the start of this microsatellite weighing 100 kg, while the rest - for testing of ground control systems. In the second phase, which will continue until 2010, was planned to develop the following KSLV-2 rocket, capable of placing into Earth orbit a satellite weighing up to 1 ton. And by 2015, South Korea planned to establish the KSLV-3 carrying capacity of 1,5 tons. As the U. S Department of State spokesman Ian Kelly stated on August 18, 2009 South Korea has "developed their space launch program in a responsible manner." and that "The South Koreans have developed their program in a very open and transparent way, and in keeping with the international agreements that they have signed on to." and "This is in stark contrast to the example set by North Korea, which has not abided by its international agreements."

1999 - KSLV-I - Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1

Korea has been developing a small launch vehicle with the aim of lifting a several-hundred kg multi-purpose satellite within a decade. KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute) developed a 13-ton thrust liquid propellant sounding rocket, KSR-III (Korea Sounding Rocket-III). In December 1999, South Korea announced plans to have an operational commercial launch vehicle for small satellites by 2005. South Korea would begin building a launch facility in 2001 and complete it in 2004. Development of such a rocket was projected to cost between $500 million and $1 billion. South Korea hoped that development of an indigenous space launch ability will encourage its high technology industries

A space launch vehicle is a cluster of modern technologies, which are based on the advanced technology for high-strength-low-weight composite structures, high pressure cryogenic tank, liquid rocket engine, guidance control, etc. Particularly, system integration technology is a key technology to integrate and manage the advanced technologies. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute managed the development and Korean Air participated as the system integration and the development company of subsystems such as the harness and MTU connector in the KSLV-I.

KARI and the Ministry of Science and Technology planned to develop a satellite launch vehicle capable of putting a 100 kg payload into orbit by 2005 based on the KSR-III sounding rocket. The KSR-III's successful launch indicates that Korea has secured the basic technology needed to develop a satellite-launching vehicle. As most of the core technologies of KSR-III can be applied to KSLV-I, the core technologies obtained for KSR-III in cooperation with universities and industries were to serve a basis for the KSLV-I development, which would use the KSR-III as the core vehicle, with a pair of strap-on boosters derived from the KSR-III.

2002 - KSLV-I - Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1

In 2001, Korea became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), putting itself in a position to purchase technologies from other countries for non-military rockets. Russia agreed with South Korea to jointly develop a liquid-propellant rocket engine, a key component for KSLV-I. On 26 October 2004 FSUE «State Research and Production Space Center of Khrunichev» signed a contract $200 million for the design and creation for the benefit of the Korean side of space rocket complex with the carrier rocket KSLV-1 (Korean Space Launch Vehicle). This contract with the Republic of Korea on the development of the KSLV-1 was the result of long-term (more than two years) and complex work. The booster was to have been launched in 2005, but that was then postponed until late in 2008. Russia refused to transfer the technology for reasons of security regulations in the technological protection agreement. A prerequisite for the signing of the contract became South Korea's accession to the international agreement on non-proliferation of missile technologies. Kim Woo-sik, Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Technology, and Russian Federal Space Agency head Anatoliy Nikolayevitch Perminov first agreed on and signed the space partnership in October 2006 along with the prime ministers of the two countries.

But on 23 October 2006, Vladimir Nesterov, manager of the Krunichev Center in Russia, stated that the Krunichev Center intended to perform the design and manufacture work for the KSLV first stage propulsion system. However he also revealed that transfer of detailed technology will likely not happen. Nesterov said that Korea and Russia had entered a contract for development of the propulsion system manufacturing technology. "We have obtained a contract to develop a first stage propulsion system for a launch vehicle capable of launching a 100kg satellite. We will supply components/materials needed for manufacture without transferring technology." Nesterov said.

On 07 June 2007 Russia's parliament ratified the technology cooperation pact that removed the last remaining hurdle to Korea's space program). The Russian Senate passed the Technology Safeguard Agreement that outlined the transfer and protection of sensitive rocket technology and parts. Once the Russian parliament passed the Technology Safeguard Agreement that was agreed upon by Seoul and Moscow in October 2006, all documents passed review by the Federal Space Agency (KAF).

The partnership was finally signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 28, 2007, and Korean President Roh Moo-hyun promulgated the pact agreement on July 24, 2007. With this Korea and Russia formally began their full-fledged cooperation in the field of space field with the signing of a technology safeguard pact agreement. The Technology Safeguard Agreement was expected to boost South Korea's efforts to build rockets that can send small commercial and scientific satellites into space.

The KSLV (Korea Space Launch Vehicle)-I, with a 33.5 m height, 2.9 m diameter and the 143 ton weight, was planed to be launched from the NARO Space Center in Oeinaro-do of Goheung, Jeonnam prefecture carrying the 100 kg (220-pound) satellite to the low earth orbit, LEO, of 300 x 1500km. The KLSV 1's first stage, with a thrust of 170 tons, is modified from the Russian Angara launcher URM-1 module, while the second stage is of South Korean design. The payload for the first launch will be scientific instrumentation.

The first stage of KSLV is not identically to the Russian Angara. The KSLV uses an other Russian engine. The named engine RD-151 has four chambers with 1667 kN s.l. of thrust. Two pairs from the Russian engine RD-251 (RD-251 use three pairs RD-250) are probable the new Kerosene/LOX driving RD-151 for KSLV.

The upper stage of KSLV-I is made up of core parts completely developed in Korea, including the second stage kick motor, the Inertial Navigation System (INS), the power system, the control system, the flight safety system and the nose fairing. Designing, manufacturing, test/evaluation and assembly of these core components of the upper stage have been carried out domestically. In doing so, Korea has secured core technologies required for the Space Launch Vehicle, which will be directly utilized to develop a Korean Space Launch Vehicle.

The space rocket complex consists of a launch vehicle, launch and technical complexes, ground infrastructure (the means of measurement, power supply, offices, residential area, roads, etc.), Mission Control Center (MCC). The ground equipment is designed by KB «Transport Engineering». Engines for the first stage of the launch vehicle were designed and constructed in the NGO «Energomash». In the design and manufacture of composite parts of the complex involve not only Russia, but South Korean organizations and enterprises.

KSLV-I telemetry system will be composed of two telemetry streams: a lower (first) stage telemetry stream and an upper (second) stage telemetry stream. Different from the previously developed telemetry system by KARI for KSR (Korea Sounding Rocket) series, the new telemetry system has been required to meet the enhanced requirements on telemetry system.

In the Summer of 2005, ABSL was awarded the contract by the South Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to build the batteries for the KSLV-1 launch vehicle whose maiden flight is scheduled for October 2007. Under this contract ABSL was to provide four types of batteries, each crucial for successful flight operations.

During his visit to South Korea in October-November 2007, Russian Space Agency head Anatoly Perminov claimed that Seoul was keeping up the pressure on Moscow for the manufacture of KSLV-1 elements. The first KSLV-1 launch was scheduled for October 2008. But taking into account actual work progress, this deadline was highly doubtful.

In April 2008 Korea Aero Space Research Institute (KARI), led by Hong-yul Paik, announced that the upper stage of the KSLV-I has been completed. KSLV-1 was scheduled for launch from the Naro Space Center located in Goheung, southwestern Korea, in December 2008. Starting from 03 April 2008, the final comprehensive operation tests will be taking place. The aim of the final comprehensive operation tests is to check overall operation and function along every step of the flight sequence after the launch, as well as PLO by emulating real launch conditions. The flight sequence of the upper stage of KSLV-I, a set of major flight events, is as follows: faring separation, ignition of the second stage kick motor, attitude control, satellite separation, and flight completion. Specifically, this test will check whether the rocket shroud of STSAT-2 (Science and Technology Satellite-2) works at the 166 km altitude and if the second stage kick motor is ignited at the 300 km altitude in order to put the STSAT-2 into its assigned orbit.

KARI was on track to develop KSLV-I with the aim of launching it in December 2008. The schedule was to move the domestically-developed upper stage to the Naro Space Center in September, and bring in the first stage model, in development in Russia, in October 2008.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology held a KSLV-I launch review committee meeting on July 31, 2008. After reviewing the status of the launch preparations, the second half of 2009 was decided as the possible launch timeframe for KSLV-I (Korea Space Launch Vehicle-I), Korea's first launch vehicle. During the meeting, experts assessed that the KSLV-I launch schedule would have to be adjusted because of a delay in the installation of the launch complex system due to the recent earthquake in Sichuan, China which resulted in the late delivery of parts manufactured in that region, as well as the addition of extra performance tests to guarantee the success of Korea's first launch.

Meanwhile, the ministry stated that it will continue to thoroughly monitor the progress of the launch preparations with the successful launch and safety of Korea's first space launch vehicle as top priority. In this regard, the KSLV-I launch review committee, composed of experts in areas such as launch vehicle technology and safety, will continue its work in preparing for the launch. Plans for the launch were made in close consultation with Russia.

On 09 August 2008 AN-124-100 airline «flight» delivered from the Moscow Russia Khrunichev factory tonUlyanovsk by railroad transport then by air to the airport, Pusan (South Korea) model of first-stage launch vehicle KSLV-1, manufactured in GKNPTS Khrunichev. The 33-meter, 140-ton ground test vehicle (GTV) that is a mock-up of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-1) rocket that will be launched sometime during the second quarter of 2009. The experimental rocket was used to examine engine, machinery and electronics systems, fuel injection and also test ground equipment and the launch pad. By August 2008 the Russian-made first stage of the South Korean booster was installed at the Naro spaceport. Russian experts also took part in the construction of a launching pad and a space center located in the Kokhyn district of the Cholla-Namdo province. These facilities were built on the basis of Russian technologies Russian and Korean specialists will perform a set of tests using the model. The purpose of testing is a validation of ground technological equipment assembly and launch facility.

The first launch is expected as early as April 2009, and if successful, another rocket will be launched from Naro nine months later. The Russians will participate in a third launch if the first two attempts fail.

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