South Korea rocket launch in final stage

Oct. 24, 2012 at 1:41 AM
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SEOUL, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- South Korean scientists said Wednesday final preparations were on in their third attempt to launch the country's first space satellite rocket later this week.

The preparations included moving the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 rocket to the launch pad at the Naro Space Center, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Scientists at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute said the space rocket, also known as Naro-1, is set for launch Friday. The first two launch attempts in August 2009 and June 2010 failed.

Yonhap said the country's space program began in 2002 to develop its own means to launch satellites into space. In 2004, South Korea entered into a space cooperation agreement with Russia.

Yonhap said under that agreement, Russia's space center built and supplied the first-stage thrust engine of the two-stage Naro-1.

About 200 South Korean institutes and companies later joined to build the second-stage which so far has cost of about $471 million, the report said.

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