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News Release

Launch of Korea’s launch vehicle “Nuri” approved!

  • Department Administrator
  • Registration Date 2021-09-14
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Launch of Korea’s launch vehicle “Nuri” approved!


- 20th National Space Committee gives final approval for the launch of Nuri
‣ Korea Aerospace Research Institute’s applied date for launch is Oct. 21, 2021 (1st launch), May 19, 2022 (2nd launch)
※ Final launch date to be confirmed by the Launch Management Committee at the end of September

- Development of Korea’s launch vehicle all clear, preparation for launch going smoothly


□ The Ministry of Science and ICT (Minister Lim Hye-sook, hereinafter MSIT) hosted the “20th National Space Committee” meeting on Aug. 12, 2021 and discussed 2 agendas: “Launch approval examination result (draft) of Korea’s launch vehicle” and “Progress of Korea’s launch vehicle development inspection and status of launch preparation.”

□ In order to launch a space launch vehicle, approval from the Minister of MSIT must be obtained after going through a review by the National Space Committee according to the Space Development Promotion Act and the Examination Method and Standard for Launch Approval of Space Launch Vehicle (MSIT bylaw).
ㅇ Accordingly, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (Director Lee Sang-ryul, hereinafter KARI) submitted a launch plan and a launch approval application form in March of this year.
ㅇ Afterward, the Launch Approval Examination Committee proceeded with the examination on the specific details of the launch of Nuri and launch safety management system for 3 months, and the National Space Committee reviewed and confirmed the launch approval examination results.

□ Furthermore, with the preparation for the launch of Korea’s launch vehicle in full swing, the dedicated evaluation group reported to the National Space Committee the overall development status and launch preparation status of Korea’s launch vehicle inspected up to the present.

□ The major details of the agenda discussed at the National Space Committee meeting are as follows:


[Agenda No. 1] Launch approval examination result of Korea’s launch vehicle (draft)

□ “The Launch Approval Examination Committee” made up of 17 outside experts and supervised by the National Research Foundation of Korea concluded that a launch approval is suitable as a result of examining the usage purpose and safety management of Korea’s launch vehicle and financial ability in preparation for the occurrence of a space accident. The National Space Committee confirmed the launch approval of Nuri based on these results.
① (Usage purpose of space launch vehicle) This launch is for verifying the performance of Korea’s launch vehicle through 2 sessions of flight tests of deploying a satellite duplicate and a performance-verifying satellite to the 700km Sun Synchronous Orbit, and the purpose of the launch was confirmed not to violate the Outer Space Treaty including peaceful use of space.
※ (Oct. 2021) satellite duplicate (1.5 tons) / (May 2022) satellite (1.3 tons) + performance-verifying satellite (approx. 0.2 tons)
② (Launch Safety Management) It was confirmed that a launch safety control plan was set up for maintaining public safety upon launch, a flight safety system was established in the launch vehicle, and a plan for the safety of the launching site was set up.
※ 21 specific items including launch-related safety plan, setting of area where the drop of the launch vehicle is expected, flight termination system, etc. were confirmed.
③ (Compensation for Damages) Financial ability was confirmed to have been secured in preparation for an unexpected situation by subscribing to liability insurance that can provide compensation of up to 200 billion Won to a third party for damages resulting from an accident during the launch of Korea’s launch vehicle.

□ The projected date of launch applied for by KARI is Oct. 21, 2021 (1st launch, launch preparation period Oct. 22, 2021 ~ Oct. 28, 2021) and May 19, 2022 (2nd launch, launch preparation period May 20, 2022 ~ May 26, 2022). After WDR*, the Launch Management Committee (end of September, presided over by the 1st vice-minister of MSIT) will finally review and confirm the 1st launchable date after closely analyzing the relevant results.
* Wet Dress Rehearsal: Charging and discharging an oxidant at -183°C in order to check whether the components and system of the launch vehicle are working properly under an extremely low-temperature environment. Depending on the WDR result, there may be changes in the launch time.


[Agenda No. 2] Progress of Korea’s launch vehicle development inspection and status of launch preparation

□ In addition, the National Space Committee was briefed on the results of the inspection regarding the development of Korea’s launch vehicle conducted by a dedicated evaluation group and the status of launch preparation, confirming that the development of Korea’s launch vehicle was being carried out without any setbacks.
ㅇ The dedicated evaluation group consisting of 15 outside experts has been periodically inspecting and advising from the early days of Korea’s launch vehicle development project up to the present and has been performing monthly face-to-face inspections since May 2021.

□ According to the dedicated evaluation group’s inspection results, Korea’s launch vehicle has completed the development of all components of the launch vehicle including 75-ton and 7-ton engine and propulsion system tank and has also succeeded in performance verification for each stage. Currently, it is entering the final completion phase of the flight model assembly.
ㅇ Furthermore, it was announced that the certification test between each stage and the launch pad of Korea’s launch vehicle have been completed successfully, and that preparation for the launch in October of this year is proceeding without any setbacks.

□ On this day, after presiding over the National Space Committee meeting, Minister Lim Hye-sook had a tour of the testing facilities for Korea’s launch vehicle in KARI and encouraged researchers.
ㅇ “Nuri is our country’s own space launch vehicle that has been developed through the blood, sweat, and tears of many researchers and industrial parties since 2010, and I believe its launch this October will mark a milestone in the history of our space development,” Minister Lim said.
ㅇ “Since it is an important period ahead of the launch, the government will also provide active support so that researchers can do their best and concentrate on research & development with a calm mind until the last moment,” she added.
ㅇ The National Space Committee meeting held this day was the last meeting presided over by the Minister of MSIT as chairman; from November of this year when the amended Sspace Development Promotion Act takes effect, the prime minister assumes the position of chairman.
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