Good evening. Countdown has begun for a historic moment for Korea's space industry.
In less than 24 hours from now, the country will be launching its first domestically developed space rocket. For more, we have our Jang Tae-hyun at the press center near the launch site… to tell us more about the situation. Tae-hyun, brief us on what's going on now.
Hey there. I'm here at Naro Space Center in Goheung County, Jeollanam-do Province, the southern part of South Korea.
It takes about five hours to drive here all the way from Seoul, but there is a large media presence to cover this huge event.
The reason why I'm here is because the country's first locally developed space rocket 'Nuri' is scheduled to launch on Thursday at 4 PM.
You might remember the launch of 'Naro' way back in 2013, but that rocket was partially developed with Russian technology, whereas 'Nuri' is 100-percent Korean-made.
Nuri also uses more advanced technology and can carry a heavier satellite.
While Naro was a two-stage rocket and could carry 100 kilograms, Nuri, is a three-stage liquid fuel rocket carrying a mock payload weighing 1.5 tons
It will enter into low orbit 600 to 800 kilometers above Earth.
Roughly one.seven billion U.S. dollars was spent on this project four times what was spent on Naro.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute, along with 300 private companies, has been working on Nuri for 11 years.
They assembled 370-thousand parts to build this space vehicle.
Then Tae-hyun, how likely is it to succeed, and when will we know that it's been a success?
16 minutes after launch.
That's when the dummy satellite will go into orbit.
And, we'll know for sure after half an hour when the control room is able to check the data.
The rocket was transported to the launch site this morning and we have to remember that there could be some delays due to the weather or technical issues.
The success rate is about 30 percent, but the launch is not a one-time thing.
We are in the process of development which means we have to launch the rocket multiple times to check and fix any flaws.
Four more launches are already scheduled and the next one will be in May next year.
So regardless of the result, we have to encourage the engineers and scientists that have worked so hard to develop a homegrown space vehicle from scratch.
Countries can't share aerospace technology, especially if its related to space rockets, as it could be used as a weapon.
And if Nuri's launch is successful, South Korea would be the seventh country in the world that can send a one ton satellite into space.
Alright. So, where can we see it tomorrow?
Well, people are not allowed to go near the rocket, obviously.
So the three kilometers around the rocket has restricted entry for safety reasons.
But, if you'd really like to witness the historic moment, you can visit Goheung or the nearby city of Yeosu, to see the launch.
The launch will of course be shown live on TV, and on KARI and the Science Ministry's YouTube and Naver TV channels.
That's all I have for now and I'll see you again tomorrow.