SEOUL – South Korea launched its first homegrown space launch vehicle Thursday to put a satellite into the low-Earth orbit (600-800 km).
The KSLV-II, also dubbed Nuri, blasted off from the Naro Space Center in the southern coastal village of Goheung at about 5:00 pm local time (0800 GMT), live footage from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) showed.
South Korea invested almost 2 trillion won ($1.7 billion) for the past decade to indigenously develop the space launch vehicle, including engine and propellant tank, as well as launch pad and launch vehicle subsystem.
The 200-ton Nuri space rocket, which measures 47.2 meters in length and 3.5 meters in maximum diameter, clustered four 75-ton-grade liquid engines in the first stage, combined with a 75-ton-grade liquid engine in the second stage and a 7-ton-grade liquid engine in the third stage.
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