South Korea Launches Space Rocket

First attempt from own soil; satellite aboard fails to reach orbit
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 25, 2009 6:44 AM CDT
South Korea Launches Space Rocket
South Korean students cheer the South Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 taking off at a beach in Goheung, South Korea, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009.    (Lee Jin-man)

South Korea's first rocket blasted off into space today following an aborted attempt last week and just months after its rival North Korea drew international ire for its own launch. A problem quickly surfaced, however, when the satellite the rocket was carrying apparently failed to enter its intended orbit.  South Korean and Russian scientists are said to be looking into the problem.

The launch of the two-stage Naro rocket could boost the country's space ambition but the North warned it would keep a close eye on the international response to Seoul's launch. South Korea initially planned to launch the rocket in late July but delayed it several times due to technical glitches. It is South Korea's first launch of a rocket from its own territory. Since 1992, it has launched 11 satellites, all on foreign-made rockets sent from overseas sites. (More South Korea stories.)

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