Seoul and Moscow have initiated a joint probe into the crash of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle or Naro space rocket, which exploded 137 seconds after its launch on Thursday afternoon.
An anonymous source from the Russian aerospace industry told Russia's state-run media, RIA Novosti news agency that a flash caught on camera during the communication cut-off could have been associated with a premature separation of the first-stage and second-stage rockets, leading to the failure.
Korean specialists also say that the incident might have been caused by a fault in the pyrotechnical system of the separation between two rockets.
[Interview : Kim Seung-cho, Professor
Aerospace and Engineering Technology, Seoul University] " Black fumes pouring from the rocket during its launch indicated that it was malfunctioning, and it means something was wrong with the combustion, which would have caused the lack of thrust during lift-off."
However, experts from the Russia-based Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center have yet to comment on the ill-fated flight.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said that debris from the Naro has been handed over to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute or KARI.
The wreckage was retrieved by the Korean navy off the southern coast of Jeju Island on Friday roughly 470 kilometers from the Naro Space Center.
KARI is currently examining the rocket with ten Russian experts in order to determine the cause of the failure.
The Khrunichev Center designed and developed the Naro's first-stage rocket, which contains the rocket engine and liquid-fuel propulsion system while Korea was responsible for the second-stage which held the satellite.
The first stage was also mapped out by the Khrunichev Space Center earlier in the year.
The Korean government spent roughly 4-hundred-3 million US dollars to develop the rocket with its Russian counterpart.
And under its contract with South Korea the Russia is obligated to provide at least two launches and a possible third should its technology related to the Naro's first stage rocket be found responsible for the failure of any of the first two attempts.
Yang Ji-woo, Arirang News.