Crucial rocket launch postponed

Rappler.com

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-I (KSLV-I), South Korea's first space rocket, is wheeled to its launch pad at Naro Space Center in Goheung, 350 km south of Seoul on October 24, 2012. AFP PHOTO / KOREA POOL

South Korean space officials suspended a crucial rocket launch on November 29, 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. 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. 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.

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