2021 was big year for S. Korea's space progam with launch of Nuri
Updated: 2021-12-29 12:26:12 KST
2021 was a big year for South Korea's space program.
On October 21st, "KSLV-2"or Rocket "Nuri" the country's first independently developed rocket was launched into space for the first time.
The launch, two mid-flight engine ignitions, rocket separation, fairing, and dummy satellite separation all took place according to plan reaching an altitude of 700 kilometers.
However the operation wasn't a complete success.
"We still have the unfinished task of putting a dummy satellite into orbit. If we review and make up for today's shortfalls, we will be able to see success in our next launch in May next year."
The second launch is expected to happen in May 2022 with scientists working around the clock to make this next launch a complete success and have South Korea capable of sending satellites regularly into space or have its astronauts land on the Moon.
Alongside the country's space agency around 300 companies took part in the launch of Nuri.
Their roles were crucial in providing parts including the engine and also significant as globally 2021 was a particularly important year for "New Space," a term coined for the commercialization of the space industry.
8 of the 13 manned space missions in 2021 were from private companies.
In July Sir Richard Branson, a British billionaire and the founder of Virgin Galactic, became the first person to ride his own funded rocket into space landing on Earth around 90 minutes after takeoff.
"I was once a kid with a dream looking up to the stars now I'm an adult in a spaceship looking back to our beautiful earth. To the next generation of dreamers, if we can do this, just imagine what you can do."
Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon, quickly became the second one to do so going a bit farther than Branson in a Blue Origin rocket a company he founded.
SpaceX founded by Elon Musk in 2002 took it to another level in September as his ship, with four non-astronauts on board, stayed in space for three days before returning to earth.
While still a bit behind these private companies South Korea has plans for the next decade to slowly rise in the rankings of the space race while also fostering domestic space companies.
To start off the development of Korean Positioning System South Korea's satellite constellation positioning and navigation signal system spanning a 1-thousand kilometer-radius from Seoul will begin in 2022.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.