South Korea's first entirely domestically developed space rocket Nuri soared into space a few hours ago and its satellites have successfully reached orbit.
For details, we connect live to our Han Seong-woo, who's been covering the historic launch on site at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, Jeollanam-do Province.
Seong-woo, mission accomplished?
Mission accomplished, indeed Mokyeon. Nuri's launch is definitely a success and the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute have confirmed it.
"Nuri reached its target altitude and successfully placed the performance satellite into orbit."
"Like Minister Lee Jong-ho just said, we have successfully carried out Nuri's second launch."
At 4 PM this afternoon, Nuri shot into the skies for the second time and didn't disappoint.
The three stage space rocket, after reaching its target altitude of 700 kilometers, placed both its performance verification satellite including four functioning mini cube satellites and its 1.3-ton dummy satellite into orbit seventy seconds apart at around four fifteen PM.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol wasn't present on site for the event but watched it from his office in Yongsan-gu Distict and later exclaimed that the "way to space has opened" calling the launch a product of thirty years of effort.
So Seong-woo, I understand the launch is a success. But we'll still have to wait and see whether the satellites are perfectly working, correct?
That's correct, Mokyeon.
I want to emphasize that the Korea Aerospace Research Institute's primary target for today and this launch in general was the launch itself: in other words, getting Nuri into orbit without malfunctions so it can separate its payload there.
Nuri's launch and the operation of the satellites are two closely related but separate things.
According to authorities, we'll still have to wait fifteen more hours until the Nuri's performance verification satellite successfully communicates with KARI's ground station in Daejeon to confirm whether it's working.
Then there are the four mini cube satellites that'll be separated from the verification satellite and released one by one every two days starting from the 29th.
Everything's going according to plan but we'll just have to wait and see if the Nuri project ends up being a perfect success.
That's all I have for now.
Back to you, Mokyeon.