South Korea finally became part of the prestigious space club after putting a satellite into orbit on January 30, 2013. This came after two unsuccessful attempts in 2009 and 2010.
Naro is the name of the 140-tonne Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), which took off from the Naro Space Center which is situated 480 kilometers south of Seoul.
Launching of the KSLV-1 had been delayed 2 times from October 26 and again on November 29. Their arch rivals North Korea beat them by launching an Unha-3 rocket which contained a small satellite on December 12. This launch was condemned by the world community at large and was branded as a disguised ballistic-missile test.
Naro’s first-stage rocket was made by Russia, and its second-stage rocket was made via a collaboration of companies from South Korea and institutes which were headed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). A total of US $ 500 million was spent by South Korea on this project. The last launch was under the Naro space programme, since the joint-development programme which was with Russia ended in 2013.
The lifespan of the satellite is 1 year and it shall collect information relating to space radiation.
South Korea is planning on making a domestic rocket by 2018 and then in the future sending a landing module to the Moon.
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