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KSLV-II - Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2

Published and conjectural KSLV-II configurations all suffered from very small payload fractions. This was a result of the small Korean upper stages mounted on the large Russian lower stage[s].

In December 2008 development of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2, the first that was to be wholly Korean-made, was shelved after the import of Russian rocket technologies became impossible. Development had been expected to begin immediately after the launch of KSLV-1. The government planned to stop the budget for the KSLV-2 in 2009 and decided to conduct a fresh feasibility study after a preliminary feasibility study earlier in 2008 by the Strategy and Finance Ministry concluded there were problems getting hold of technologies. The KSLV-2 was to be the first wholly Korean-made launch rocket. In 2007, the government announced an ambitious space development program, including a satellite with a Korean-made launch vehicle by 2017 and a lunar probe by 2025. Development of the KSLV-2 was premised on the wholesale transfer of first-stage rocket technologies from Russia. But a complete revision became inevitable as Russia refused to transfer technologies, citing the Technology Safeguard Agreement.

2002 - KSLV-II - Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2

Initially, the KSLV-II South Korean launch vehicle was scheduled for first flight by 2010, consisting of a Russian Angara first stage and a South Korean liquid-propellant second stage. The KSLV-III South Korean launch vehicle, to consist of a Russian Angara first stage, a South Korean liquid propellant second stage, and a South Korean solid propellant apogee kick motor. Scheduled for first flight was by 2015.

Russia had agreed with South Korea to jointly develop a liquid-propellant rocket engine, a key component for KSLV-I. But Russia refused to transfer the technology for reasons of security regulations in the technological protection agreement. The booster was to have been launched in 2005, but that was then postponed until late in 2008. The launch of the KSLV-II was also postponed from 2010 until 2017, depending on Korea's own development schedule. This meant the Naro Space Center would be closed after the scheduled launch of the KSLV-I at the end of 2008 until 2017.

In 2002 KARI and the Ministry of Science and Technology planned the first space flight of launch vehicle KSLV-1, to put into orbit a satellite weighing 100 kg. At that time it was appointed that starting in 2005 more powerful rockets KSLV-2 (PG, weight 1000 kg; 2010) and KSLV-3 (1500 kg, 2015 g) would be created on the basis of KSLV-1. In development was already under way of a version sub orbital rocket KSR-3 with two hinged liquid motors based on the first stage. Hyundai Space was an industrial partner for KARI's rocket program. By 2010, South Korea planned to create a low-orbt commercial satellite, and in 2015 - enter the top ten in the world of aerospace.

2006 - KSLV-II / KSLV-III - Korea Space Launch Vehicle-3

Initially the KSLV-II was to have consisted of a Russian Angara first stage and a South Korean liquid-propellant second stage. In August 2006 it was reported in the Korean press that this configuration had been cancelled. At that time, the Korean press reported that the KSLV-III first and second stages would both be Angara-UM modules, with RD-151 engines. The configuration was never entirely clear, but was probably side-by-side rather than stacked.

2007 - KSLV-II - Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2

On 20 November 2007 the government of Korea announced plans to launch a lunar probe using an indigenous rocket in 2020. The road map called for a step-by-step development plan so the country can become fully independent in the building of boosters and the unmanned probe, the Ministry of Science and Technology said. It said scientists and engineers will build and test a 300-ton Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 (KSLV-II) booster by 2017, and that the "standard bus module" technology needed to make the probe would be be acquired by 2016. The rocket was expected to have four engines propelled by 75 tons of liquid fuel in the first stage, and another booster in the second stage.

On 20 November 2007, the Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) said that it plans to develop a powerful two-stage rocket by 2017 to send a satellite to the moon. According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, ROK plans to build and test a 300-ton Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 (KSLV-II) booster rocket and launch its first lunar exploration satellite in 2020. If the plan was successful, ROK will launch a lunar probe in 2025. The KSLV-II was expected to be a larger and more advanced model of the 170-ton KSLV-I set to be launched in late 2008. The rocket was expected to have a total of five 75-ton thrust engines.

South Korean government said in April 2008 that it planned to develop a powerful two-stage rocket by 2017 to send a satellite to the moon. According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, South Korea planned to build and test a 200-ton KSLV-II booster rocket and launch its first lunar exploration satellite in 2020.

On 22 August 2008 it was reported that Russia and South Korea had agreed to jointly develop a new launch vehicle KSLV-2, which will have two Russian liquid engines. Anatoly Frolov, director of foreign economic activity of the Scientific-Production Association (NGO) Energomash said "Negotiations have been successfully Roskosmos, the Russian government has approved the idea of cooperation in the field of engine. One of these days we are expecting concrete proposals from the Korean side." According to Frolov, the new rocket KSLV-2 would be two or three stages. For the first stage Energomash will supply the engine with a thrust of 80 tons, similar to RD-107. The R-7 used an RD-107 rocket engine in each strap-on booster. The KSLV 2 could have four 75-ton first-stage engines, a single engine of the same rating in the second stage and a probable low-orbit payload of 1.5 tons. If the Korean side expressed its desire to use a Russian engine for the second stage, the NPO was ready to provide an engine with a thrust of about 30 tons. Testing was to begin in 2017.

The exact configuration of the 200-ton KSLV-2 booster was unclear, but it was apparently proposed to be derived from the 300-ton SL-4 Soyuz booster. The 1/3 reduction in liftoff mass could be accomplished by truncating the strap-on and core stage tanks, with a corresponding reduction in propellant loading. More than 1,500 launches have been made with Soyuz launchers to orbit satellites for telecommunications, Earth observation, weather and scientific missions, as well as for human flights. The four boosters of the first stage are assembled laterally around the second stage central core. The boosters are identical and cylindrical-conic in shape. An NPO Energomash RD 107 engine with four main chambers and two gimbaled vernier thrusters was used in each booster. The vernier thrusters provide three-axis flight control. Ignition of the first stage boosters and the second stage central core occur simultaneously on the ground. An NPO Energomash RD 108 engine powers the Soyuz second stage. This engine differs from those of the boosters by the presence of four vernier thrusters. A single-turbo pump RD 0110 engine from KB KhA powers the Soyuz third stage with a thrust of 30.39 tons.

In 2006 a fuel pump and turbine rotor-dynamic design had been performed in Korea for a 75 ton thrust liquid rocket engine. A distance from the rear bearing to the turbine was considered as a design parameter for load distribution of the bearings. Asynchronous eigenvalue analysis was performed as a function of rotating speeds, turbine mass and bearing stiffness to investigate critical speed of the fuel pump and turbine. From the numerical analysis, it was found that the effect of the front bearing stiffness was negligible in the critical speed due to the large mass moment of inertia of the turbine. With the rear bearing stiffness over 2,108 N/m and the turbine mass below 20 kg, the critical speed of the fuel pump and turbine in long shaft case was at least 70% higher than the operating speed 11,000 rpm.

If the KSLV-1 was launched as scheduled, Korea planned to start development of the KSLV-2 that was to be built exclusively with its own technology. The real test would be 2017 when Korea will be attempting to send a real-purpose satellite with a fully domestically developed rocket. KSLV 2 was the launcher earmarked for the spacecraft that South Korea proposes to send to the moon by 2020. A lunar lander was supposed to follow in 2025.

More recent design study information released on the KSLV-II configuration calls for a 1.5 metric tonnes payload capacity to low earth orbit. The launch vehicle was to be three stages with four engines in the first stage that produce 75 to 80 metric tonnes force thrust each. It will essentially be developed from home made rocket developed technology as demanded by South Korean Science and Technology policy.

KSLV-II Step Two (2015~2018)

Korea’s space development roadmap, adopted at the end of 2007, included achieving complete technological independence on the main body satellites by 2016, developing a 300 ton-class Korean launch vehicle, or projectile, by 2017, and launching a lunar module in 2025. Plans also provide for active participation in international joint research and development as a full member of the space club.

The space development program includes a 3-step Korean launch vehicle project. The first step (2011~2014) aimed at constructing test facilities and developing a 5~10 ton liquid engine. In step two (2015~2018), Korea will develop a 75 ton liquid engine, which will be the primary engine for the Korean launch vehicle, and test launch this engine.

Korea has already embarked on the development of the 75 ton engine with the core technology for a 30 ton liquid engine, which it acquired in 2006 while manufacturing Naro. In step three (2019~2021), Korea will develop a 300 ton engine by combining four 75 ton engines, and in 2021, attempt to launch a Korean launch vehicle and satellite into space. The government was also planning to accelerate the Korean rocket project to complete it at an earlier date. The successful launch of Naro on January 30 will be a meaningful starting point.

A system design has been conducted of the liquid rocket engine for Korean launch vehicle (KSLV-II, Korea Space Launch Vehicle II). The present turbopump-fed liquid rocket engine of vacuum thrust 76 ton and vacuum specific impulse 297 sec adopts gas generator cycle. The combustion pressure of the regeneratively cooled combustor was 60 bar. The propellant was LOx/kerosene. The engine was started by pyrostarter and the combustor was ignited by TEA (TriEthylAluminium).

South Korea will soon enter the second stage of its program to develop the country’s own space vehicle by 2021, the government said 30 July 2015. The second, three-year stage of the rocket development plan will begin at the start of next month, in which the country will develop a 75-ton thrust engine, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Technology.

Following a successful development of a 75-ton thruster, the country will build a 300-ton booster, using four 75-ton thrust engines, which will be capable of sending a 1.5-ton satellite into space. The 300-ton space rocket, named the Korea Space Launch Vehicle 2 (KSLV-II), will be test-fired during the third and final stage of the space program that will commence in April 2018.


The first stage of the 1.96 trillion-won (US$1.68 billion) program began in March 2010, in which the country successfully built and test-fired a 7-ton thrust engine, the ministry said. “We have achieved our main objectives of developing a 7-ton liquid engine and building an engine test facility under the first development stage, and we can now enter the second stage of the program to develop a 75-ton engine system and build a test launch vehicle,” it said.

South Korea successfully conducted the first combustion test for a 75-ton liquid-fuel engine that will go into the first and second stages of the domestic Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 (KSLV-2). The Korea Aerospace Research Institute said 04 June 2016 that it conducted the engine test at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, on 03 June 2016.

The KSLV, which aims for liftoff in the years 2019 and 2020, consists of three stages. Four 75-ton engines will be tied up for the bottom stage, over which one 75-ton liquid engine will be placed. One seven-ton liquid engine will be inserted in the third stage.

A combustion test of a 75-ton engine that goes into the Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV)-II was successfully held at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province on 09 June 2016. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said that it completed assembling a prototype of the first 75-ton liquid fuel engine and conducted a combustion test that lasted 75 seconds. In the previous test, the combustion lasted 30 seconds. The institute will produce a prototype of the second engine by September 2016 and attempt a combustion test lasting 140 seconds. Instability was reported in the combustion of the domestically manufactured engine, which was the key component of the KSLV, but it appears the problem has been resolved through repeated tests.

South Korea was also in the process of securing technology that enables welding the extremely thin propellant tank without alterations. The KARI planned to complete developing the KSLV-II for a test launch by the end of 2017. It also eyes a lunar exploration by 2020. The space launch vehicle will comprise four 75-ton engines, with a first-stage rocket to reach the thrust of around 300 tons.

The test carrier rocket is set to reach the altitude of up to 180 to 220 kilometers and then cruise for about 10 minutes before falling into the waters off the southern coast of South Korea's Jeju Island. The rocket was slated to be test-launched on 25 October 2018 from the Naro Space Center in the country's southwestern county of Goheung. This test launch was for only the second-stage of the Nuri's propulsion, with the first and third-stage engines to be tested starting early in 2019.

The country's second carrier rocket, known as Korea Space Launch Vehicle 2 or Nuri, meaning "the world" in ancient Korean, was a three-stage vehicle developed entirely with homegrown technology using 75 ton thrust engines to launch satellites into the orbit in 2021. On Wednesday 28 November 2018 at 4 p.m. Korea time, the rocket engine was successfully launched from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, Jeollanam-do Province. The rocket flew for about ten minutes. It reached a peak altitude of roughly 200 kilometers after some three hundred seconds into flight before splashing down in international waters off the southeastern coast of Jeju-do Island. According to the Ministry of Science and ICT and Korea Aerospace Research Institute, the engine fully-combusted for one-hundred-fifty-one seconds, eleven seconds longer than what the team considers a successful run.

The stage was nearly twenty-six meters high, three meters wide, and weighed in at fifty-two tons. The engine launch was a trial run for Nuri. Four of the engines will be used in the first stage, and one on the second stage of KSLV-2, as the whole rocket is scheduled to blast off in 2021.


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