South Korea rocket launch delayed by at least 3 days-A A +A
Friday, October 26, 2012
MANILA (Updated) -- South Korea has deferred the launch of its first-ever space rocket, which was originally scheduled on Friday afternoon.
State-funded Korean Broadcasting Service (KBS) reported that the rocket launch was postponed due to a problem detected during a final inspection.
KBS added that the launch will be delayed at least three days, according to Vice Minister Cho Yul-rae of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, who said a possible leak was detected in a part connecting the launch pad.
The state-funded news network earlier reported that no problems were found in the last rehearsal of the launch on Thursday.
South Korea's first space rocket, the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) or the Naro-1, will be carrying the country's Science and Technology Satellite-2.
In the Philippines, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC) and other government agencies already made contingency plan weeks before South Korea's rocket launch.
According to NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos, the launch window is supposedly between 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday but it could be postponed until October 31.
The Philippine Air Force projected the satellite's first stage to separate and fall in a zone 450 nautical miles east of Palanan, Isabela. The second stage is expected to fall in an area 340 nautical miles east of Samar province while the anticipated third stage will fall in an area 330 nautical miles of Surigao del Sur Province.
Ramos said in a text message that there will be no changes in the preparations that have been made regarding the South Korean rocket launch despite its postponement.
He said the government's contingency plan is still in effect which includes the "no fly, no sail, and no fishing zone" policy imposed today along the country's eastern seaboard where rocket debris is projected to fall.
The Yonhap News Agency reported that the success or failure of the KSLV-1 will be determined in just nine minutes after its lift-off, according to experts.
The scheduled launch this month will be South Korea's third attempt to send the KSLV-1 into space after both of its earlier tries in August 2009 and June 2010 were declared failures minutes after the lift-offs.
Yonhap also reported that South Korea has so far sent up 10 satellites into space, but all using foreign rockets.
The country's neighbor, North Korea, also conducted a rocket launch last April to put a satellite into space but ended in failure minutes after the lift-off. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)