November 29, 2022

South Korea efficiently test-fired a solid-fuel house rocket Wednesday, the protection ministry stated, following North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch final week.

The state-run Company for Protection Growth performed the primary such check at a testing web site in Taean, 150 kilometers southwest of Seoul, to verify capabilities of the homegrown house launch automobile, in line with the ministry.

The launch got here after the North’s 12 recognized rounds of missile and different launches this yr, together with what the North claimed to be “reconnaissance satellite tv for pc” improvement checks.

Protection Minister Suh Wook and prime army officers attended the occasion, which the ministry stated marked an “vital milestone” in enhancing South Korea’s unbiased space-based reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities.

This photograph, offered by the protection ministry, reveals South Korea’s first-ever test-firing of a solid-fuel rocket, at a check web site of the state-run Company for Protection Growth in Taean, 150 kilometers southwest of Seoul, on March 30, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

“(The check) got here at a really grave juncture through which North Korea has not too long ago breached its moratorium and launched an ICBM,” the protection ministry stated, referring to the North’s voluntary suspension of nuclear and ICBM testing.

“Relating to house as a core realm that considerably impacts nationwide safety, (the South) will strengthen house protection capabilities primarily based on inter-service cooperation at an early date,” it added.

Wednesday’s check was geared toward verifying the projectile’s performances, together with fairing separation and the upper-stage perspective management options, in line with the ministry.

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The house rocket is designed to place a small satellite tv for pc right into a low Earth orbit for surveillance operations. In comparison with liquid-fuel house autos, solid-based ones are often easier and more cost effective to launch.

The ministry stated it plans to launch an precise satellite tv for pc mounted on the rocket sooner or later following further improvement procedures.

The ADD and the Korea Aerospace Analysis Institute are additionally working collectively to discover the potential of creating a brand new rocket combining each liquid- and solid-fuel engines to enhance cost-efficiency and its capability to hold a heavier payload.

The launch got here lower than a yr after Seoul and Washington agreed to raise the “missile pointers” restrictions that had barred South Korea from creating or possessing ballistic missiles with a most vary larger than 800 kilometers.

It additionally adopted a profitable combustion check of a solid-propellant engine for an area rocket in July.

House rocket applied sciences might be transferred to the non-public sector sooner or later to advertise the event of the house business, the ministry stated.