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Korea's space program enters next phase KSLV-2 Updated: 2013-04-18 09:54:24 KST

 Korea's space program enters next phase KSLV-2
Things are business as usual here at Goheung -- just as they were on the days that engineers were preparing for a launch.

"South Korea became 11th country to join the space club -- after successfully launching the Naro rocket and placing its satellite into orbit on January 30th. Naro Space Center here at Goheung is undergoing major transformations preparing for its next project known as the KSLV-2, Korea Space Launch Vehicle number two."

The launch pad used by Naro three months ago -- is going through repairs and maintenance.
The bottom of the launch pad is still rusted from the extremely high temperatures it underwent during Naro's take-offs.

"We are building a test-launch site for KSLV-2, right next to this launch pad. The whole space center will be equipped with new buildings and facilities needed for developing and testing the KSLV-2."

The KSLV-2 will use four, 75-ton engines whereas the Naro had just one engine that weighed 30-tons.
To accomodate the KSLV-2, the assembly complex needs to be rebuilt.

"This is where we assembled the rocket's three stages. But due to the bigger size of the KSLV-2, this assembly complex will have to be expanded -- and this assembly line will be used for testing the launch vehicles."

Of course, there were some who said that the Naro could not be called a complete domestic success, given that the first stage of the rocket was provided by Russian scientists.
But the chief of the development team says it was a collaborative effort, one that was necessary for a giant leap.

"We did obtain invaluable knowledge from them, and worked our way up to emulating their technologies. In fact, we've also developed an engine identical to the ones used in Naro on our own as we prepare to develop the next engine for the KSLV-2."

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute recently revealed its roadmap for the next three decades, called 'Space Vision 2040.'
Following the launch of KSLV-2, Seoul will set its eyes on sending a moon orbiter by the year 2020.
By 2040, Korea aims to have sent an astronaut into space in a home-grown space shuttle.
Developing the first stage of the KSLV-2 rocket is the first step to getting there.

"We've also established our launch site and human resources, along with engineers who now know how to carry out these tasks. Our task now is procuring infrastructure for testing and developing the industries related to space science."

Song Ji-sun, Arirang News, Goheung.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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