S. Korea Plans to Launch Solid-Propellant Space Launch Vehicle in 2024, Defence Ministry Says
SEOUL (Sputnik) - South Korea's Institute for Defense Analyses managed to carry out successful firing tests of a solid-propellant engine for a new space launch vehicle already on 29 July, paving way for commercial launches of this type of rockets to start as early as in 2024, the defense ministry said on 16 September.
The new engine will allow launching small satellites and groups of extra-small satellites into low-Earth orbit, according to the ministry. The tests were made possible after the lifting of development restrictions, previously envisioned by the US-South Korean missile agreement, which was terminated in June.
"In addition to the technologies that the Republic of Korea acquired during the development of the liquid-propellant space launch vehicle Nuri, we managed to quickly master the solid-propellant launcher technology and are now one step closer to becoming the seventh space power, after the United States, Russia, China, Europe, Japan and India. In the future, after checking and assembling the main components of the solid-propellant space launch vehicle, we plan to launch a solid-propellant rocket based on South Korea's own technologies from the Naro Space Center launchpad somewhat around 2024," the South Korean Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also plans to provide technical assistance to civilian sector companies developing and producing small sold-propellant launchers and developing services for launching various types of satellites on them.
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