South Korea launches first civilian rocket amid tensions with North
South Korea launched its first space rocket carrying a science satellite on Wednesday.
It was South Korea’s third attempt to launch a civilian rocket to send a satellite in orbit in the past four years. The launch came after two launches were aborted last year due to technical malfunctions.
The launch vehicle, Naro, took off from South Korea’s space center went through stage separation before entering orbit, officials said.
South Korea is already far behind rivals China and Japan in the effort to build space rockets to put satellites into orbit.
Launch attempts in 2009 and 2010 ended in absolute failure.
The first stage booster of the Naro rocket was built in Russia. South Korea has produced several satellites but has relied on other countries to help them get to orbit.
South Korea wants to build a rocket of its own by 2018 and eventually send a probe to the moon.