S. Korean space launch faces further delay

Nov. 13, 2012 at 11:34 PM
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SEOUL, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- South Korea's third try to launch its first space satellite may again be put off due to a delay in getting a Russian replacement part, officials said Wednesday.

The launch of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, originally set for Oct. 26 and rescheduled to Nov. 24, is likely to be delayed again as the Russian part to replace a defective one in the KSLV-1 was not expected to arrive until the end of the week, officials told Yonhap News Agency.

Officials in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and its Launch Preparation Committee said it would take up to three days to fit the new part and test it, which could push the launch of the space rocket called Naro-1 to the end of the month. The first two launch attempts in August 2009 and June 2010 had failed.

The Oct. 26 launch was scrapped after Russian engineers found a broken rubber seal in the connector between the rocket and its launch pad, Yonhap said. Russian engineers had built the connector as well as space vehicle's first of the two-stage rocket, the report said.

Later, about 200 South Korean institutes and companies together built the second-stage which so far has cost of about $471 million, Yonhap had reported earlier.

"There is a growing voice that we must not hurry to meet the designated date as a successful launch is more important than anything else," an official told Yonhap.

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