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, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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