Friday, June 11, 2010

South Korean rocket appears to have blown up

Korea is having a tough time getting into the space race. Following one postponement, the Naro-1 space rocket was finally launched from the Naro Space Center in Kohŭng, but contact was lost 137 seconds into flight.

BBC has video:

Their description makes me wonder if some balli-balli [quickly! quickly!] mentality wasn't to blame for the failure:
The KSLV-1, built partly in Russia and partly in South Korea, had cost 500 billion won ($400m; £275m).

The satellite - which had been intended to study the effects of climate change - should have separated from the rocket and deployed its solar panels some nine minutes after take-off, at an altitude of 302km.

The rocket had been due to take off on Wednesday, but lift-off was cancelled three hours before launch after fire extinguishing fluids were detected leaking from parts of the equipment.

South Korea's Ministry for Education, Science and Technology said thorough checks had confirmed the leaks did not affect the safety of the rocket and the launch had been rescheduled.
We'll have to see what the investigations turn up. Thankfully no one died in this incident, but it should be taken as seriously as if someone had. Such an expensive failure shouldn't be swept under the carpet after the general public stops paying so much attention.

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