South Korea plans to launch the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) next week in its third attempt to send a rocket into space from its own soil, a government committee said Thursday.
"Nov. 29 has been set as the candidate launch date," the Naro Launch Preparation Committee said in a released statement. "The possible time of the launch will be between 4 and 6:55 p.m. with the actual time to be decided on the launch date."
It said, however, that both the date and time were still tentative as bad weather conditions and many other issues could further delay the planned launch.
Seoul originally sought to launch the KSLV-1, also known as Naro-1, on Oct. 26 but a broken rubber seal in a connector or adapter between the rocket and its launch pad forced it to reschedule its third attempt to put a rocket into space.
The first two attempts, in August 2009 and June 2010, both ended in failure.
"Regarding the replacement of a defective part in the adapter that caused problems in the Oct. 26 preparations for a launch, thorough investigations have been under way since Nov. 18 when the replacement part arrived here and the tests have yet to point to any additional problems," the committee said.
The ongoing Naro space program began in 2002 but a lack of relevant technology forced the country to seek help from Russia, which has a success rate of 93.6 percent in more than 3,100 space rocket launches between 1950 and 2011.
The first-stage rocket of the two-stage Naro-1 is built by Russia's Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center with the second-stage of the rocket built by a consortium of more than 150 South Korean companies and research centers, led by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute. (Yonhap News)