News / Asia

South Korea Makes First Successful Space Launch

South Koreans watch a television broadcast reporting the country's first rocket launch at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, January 30, 2013.
South Koreans watch a television broadcast reporting the country's first rocket launch at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, January 30, 2013.
South Korea for the first time has successfully sent a satellite into space from its own soil, joining an exclusive club that only 12 other nations in history have entered.

South Korea failed previously to achieve a flawless launch, allowing impoverished North Korea to beat its rival into space.

During South Korean launches in 2009 and 2010, the protective barrier around the payload failed to separate properly from the rocket.

This time all appeared to go according to plan after the KSLV-1, with a Russian first stage, lifted off from the Naro Space Center, 480 kilometers south of Seoul.

  • In this photo released by Korea Aerospace Research Institute, South Korea's rocket lifts off from its launch pad at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, January 30, 2013.
  • South Koreans cheer as they watch a television broadcast of the country's first rocket launch at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, January 30, 2013.
  • South Koreans watch a television broadcast reporting the country's first rocket launch at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, January 30, 2013.
  • South Korea's rocket lifts off from its launch pad at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, January 30, 2013.

Its payload is practically symbolic: a 100-kilogram satellite with a projected one-year life span containing an experimental oscillator that emits ultra short laser pulses.

South Korea's science minister, Lee Ju-ho, says the satellite is now in orbit.

Lee declares the mission a success. He says the previous two attempts were not a discouragement, but rather increased motivation that led to the success of the third launch.

Officials say they expect to confirm early Thursday Asia time whether the satellite is fully functioning.

The launch is being hailed as a benchmark of national pride for Asia's fourth largest economy, which already has a solid reputation for first-rate quality electronic gadgets, automobile manufacturing and shipbuilding. But unlike its economic rivals and neighbors Japan and China, South Korea never had been able to put an object into space from its own soil.

This launch comes less than two months after rival North Korea placed a satellite into orbit.

South Korea rocket launchSouth Korea rocket launch
x
South Korea rocket launch
South Korea rocket launch
Senior researcher Kang Kyung-in at South Korea's KAIST Satellite Technology Research Center notes that North Korea has been making continuous investments in rockets since 1998.

Kang says that while the technologies of the two countries' rockets are similar, South Korea's program is purely for scientific purposes.

The launch of North Korea’s Unha-3 was condemned by the international community as a violation of United Nations sanctions and as a disguised ballistic missile test. It prompted the U.N. Security Council to impose further sanctions on Pyongyang.

North Korea claims it deployed a peaceful earth observation satellite. Scientists outside the reclusive country say there has been no indication the satellite has transmitted any signals.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: qweasd
January 31, 2013 5:45 AM
East Sea.
It is also a very old name, as East Sea, or "Donghae", can be seen in historical records before the birth of Christ, and has been found on Chinese maps after the 12th century.
Korea's sovereignty over Dokdo Islets in the East Sea and promote the images of "comfort women" who were forced into sex slavery by imperial Japan during World War Ⅱ.
Sea of Japan is a name that was conceived during Japan's imperialistic attacks on the rest of Asia; it serves as a reminder of the atrocities Japan committed during that time.






by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
January 30, 2013 7:40 PM
why SK has the right to launch a rocket but NK doesn't?

Is every country supposed to be equal?

Where is the freedom? shame on USA.


by: Jong
January 30, 2013 8:52 AM
North and South have rockets, BRAVO, no more WAR...!


by: callmekom from: S.Korea
January 30, 2013 6:10 AM
At last we made it into space!

In Response

by: callmekom
January 31, 2013 6:45 AM
NEWS says that the next launch will take place about 3 years after... Which I think isn't a very long time.

In Response

by: L
January 30, 2013 10:20 AM
Oh, you kid! Give em a little time, it was only their first time...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid