Alert lifted after South Korea postpones rocket launch

With the postponement of South Korea's rocket launch on Thursday, November 29, the "no sail, no fly, no fishing zone" has been lifted in several provinces in the country's Pacific seaboard

Rappler.com
Updated 6:09 PM, Nov 29, 2012

MANILA, Philippines - With the postponement of South Korea's rocket launch on Thursday, November 29, the "no sail, no fly, no fishing zone" has been lifted in several provinces in the country's Pacific seaboard.

The status has been lifted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and the following areas are now back to Blue Alert Status:

  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Catanduanes
  • Albay
  • Sorsogon
  • Northern Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Southern Leyte
  • Dinagat Island
  • Siargao
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Surigao del Sur

South Korean space officials suspended the crucial rocket launch Thursday, after a technical problem halted the countdown just 17 minutes before the scheduled blast-off.

"It is impossible to resume the launch sequence today," Deputy Science Minister Cho Yul-Rae told reporters at the Naro Space Center on the south coast.

Cho declined to speculate on the duration of the delay, but officials said the rocket would have to be removed from the launch pad, suggesting it would be at least several days before a new attempt can be made.

It was to have been South Korea's third attempt to put a satellite in orbit and gain entry to an elite global space club that includes Asian powers China, India and Japan.

After successive failures with the same 140-ton Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-1) in 2009 and 2010, the current mission is seen as crucial to the future of South Korea's space program.

It was the second time this launch had been suspended.

Originally scheduled for October 26, it was delayed by more than a month after engineers detected a broken rubber seal in a connector between the launch pad and the first stage.

Cho said the problem this time around appeared to lie with the propulsion system of the rocket's second stage. - Rappler.com with the Agence France-Presse

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