A fully grown South Korean rocket has launched satellites into orbit for the first time.
The new national rocket Nuri left the Naro Space Center on Tuesday (June 21) at 3 am EDT (0700 GMT) and finally released six payouts on Earth orbit.
According to Reuters, one of those payloads was a 358-pound test satellite (162.5 kilograms) that successfully connected to an Antarctic station after reaching orbit. Some were a 1.3-ton dummy satellite and four small cubes developed by university researchers.
Tuesday’s lift was the second three-step orbital machine, 155 feet (47.2 meters) Nuri. The first, in October 2021, failed to set the dummy payload in orbit as planned after the third phase of the rocket closed prematurely.
Tuesday’s success has become a significant factor in South Korea, seeking to launch its satellite star for navigation and send probes to the moon, among other space missions.
“Now the road to space from our planet is open,” South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said shortly after Tuesday’s launch, according to Reuters. “It has been the result of 30 years of difficult challenges. From now on, the dreams and aspirations of our people and our youth will be shattered.”
South Korea launched a satellite to orbit once before, in 2013, with a rocket called the Naro. But the Naro was a joint venture with Russia, and the Nuri is a fully grown car built by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute.