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The launch of the Noor rocket, a huge success for the ambitious South Korean space industry

The success of the launch of its Noor (“world” in Korean) rocket on Thursday, May 25 puts a little more weight on South Korea in the space sector. After being postponed due to a computer problem “never seen before”The 47.2-meter, three-stage rocket took off from the Naro Space Center, located on the island in Goheung County, North Korea, according to Ko Jong-hwan, a project manager at the Korea Aeronautics Research Institute. country.

This was the first operational mission of this rocket, known by the code name KSLV-II. Nuri carried eight Earth, climate and cosmic radiation monitoring satellites, including Nextsat-2, developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. The others were from the Institute of Astronomy and private companies Justek, Lumir and Kairospace.

This success is an important step for the space industry, which is one of the ten strategic sectors selected by Seoul. In December 2022, President Yun Seok-yul announced that he wanted to create “One of five world premieres” by receiving “Technological independence of basic elements of the launcher and satellites”. The goal is to increase South Korea’s share of the space sector from today’s 1% to 10% in 2045.

Completion of cooperation with Russia

“The space industry is growing at lightning speed. From an industrial point of view, we cannot ignore it. It is also important for national security.”Deputy Minister of Science Oh Tae-seog told Bloomberg about it. According to a 2020 study by Morgan Stanley, the revenue of the space industry, from 350 billion dollars (326 billion euros) in 2019, could exceed 1,000 billion dollars in 2040.

Its development was erratic, starting in the 1990s with KSR missiles, then narrowly developed in cooperation with Russia. After two failures, this launcher experienced its first success in 2013. Noor is running a 1.9 trillion won (1.3 billion euro) project that began in 2010 to put 1.5-tonne satellites into low orbit.

The success of Noor’s second test in June 2022 made South Korea the seventh country to launch more than a ton of satellites. Three more launches are planned by 2027, and its successor, the KSLV-III rocket, is already under development. It is due to enter service in 2030 and will be able to lift up to 10 tons into low orbit or up to 3.5 tons into geosynchronous orbit.

Source: Le Monde

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