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South Korean Rocket Could Launch Next Week

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
November 19, 2012
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KSLV-1 first stage booster. (Credit: Khrunichev)

South Korea could attempt a launch of the delayed Naro-1 (KSLV-1) rocket on November 29 after a replacement part for the launch vehicle’s Russian supplied first stage was delivered to the Naro Launch Center, ITAR-TASS reports.

The replacement part, which is a rubber seal in the connector between the Russian-build first-stage rocket of Naro-1 and the launch pad, was delivered to South Korea on Saturday and is already at the Naro space complex in the south of the Korean Peninsula (480 km south of Seoul).

Engineers later confirmed the damage to the seal had been caused by what they called a “gap” between the seal and the connector’s steel component, forcing them to replace not only the damaged seal, but also the defective part of the connector.

Engineers will replace the defective part and within several days will complete the check of the rocket’s systems.

The damaged seal forced officials to scrub a planned launch on Oct. 26. The first stage is built by the Russian company Khrunichev.

This is the third and final attempt to launch the rocket, which is fitted with a South Korean-built second stage and a research satellite. The first two launch attempts failed.

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