Nuri’s Success: Journey to the Universe Begins
Nuri’s Success: Journey to the Universe Begins
  • Woo Ji-yun
  • 승인 2022.09.07 15:45
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Nuri rocket launch (Provided by KARI)
Nuri rocket launch (Provided by KARI)

  South Korea’s homegrown Nuri rocket was successfully launched from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, Jeollanamdo. Nuri’s second launch was initially scheduled for June 15 but was delayed due to bad weather. In addition, a sensor malfunction in the oxidizer tank was found, further delaying the launch. On June 21, at 4 p.m., Nuri was launched and reached its target orbit of 700 kilometers. 
  Nuri is a three-stage launch vehicle. Nuri’s first launch occurred in October 2021 and ended in a half-success. The first stage, pairing, second stage, and dummy satellite separations were successful. However, the third stage engine shut down 46 seconds early. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) analyzed the cause of the failure. It concluded that the oxidant leaked due to cracks in the tank. Due to lessons learned from the first effort, the second launch was successful. It made two-way communication with the ground control center. Nuri carried a performance verification satellite. The performance verification satellites verify launch performance, and a cube satellite is attached to the performance verification satellites. Performance verification satellites orbit the earth 14.6 times daily and check whether domestic space devices are operating. The cube satellites will monitor the Korean Peninsula’s fine dust.  
  With Nuri’s successful launch, Korea became the seventh in the world to succeed in the development and launch of satellites greater than 1 ton. Naro, Korea’s first space launch vehicle, was successfully launched in collaboration with Russia. But Nuri was developed with independent domestic technology. In addition, Nuri’s success is expected to advance the era of new space, which is necessary for the success of the space industry. In the New Space era, the private sector is leading space development, and a total of 300 companies, mainly 30 companies, participated in the development of the Nuri.
  However, there are limitations. Recently, the space industry has been pushing to develop low-cost, high-efficiency projectiles, but Nuri is a consumable projectile. Consumable projectiles cannot be reused, making it challenging to generate profits. Space X has developed and is using the reusable Falcon series. Nuri has clear technical limitations compared to the space powerhouse. On August 5, South Korea launched its first lunar probe, ‘Danuri’, using Space X’s Falcon 9 instead because of the Nuri’s thrust limit. 
  Korea’s space industry is going smoothly. KARI will launch four times more to increase the Nuri’s reliability by 2027 and complete the KSLV-III by 2030. KSLV-III will be upgraded to increase transportation capacity and reusability like the Falcon series. On August 5, Danuri, South Korea’s first lunar orbiter, started flying in space on the Falcon 9-5500. Danuri is scheduled to make up to nine trajectory corrections before settling in orbit 100 kilometers above the moon. It succeeded in revising its first trajectory on August 7.

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