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.
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid