The Ministry of Science and ICT, led by Minister Lee Jong-ho, prepared a plan for technical supplementary measures for the Nuri space rocket, and the future implementation schedule has been confirmed.
The first launch of the Nuri space rocket was carried out on Oct.. 21, 2021, confirming that the core technology of the launch vehicle was secured in Korea, but the combustion of the three-stage engine ended prematurely, and the satellite model could not land on the target orbit.
After that, the Ministry of Science and ICT established and operated a launch investigation committee (November to December 2021) to investigate the cause.
As a result, it was found that the main cause was the loosening of the fixed support of the helium tank of the three-stage oxidizer tank while the Nuri rocket was flying.
Researchers at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, led by President Lee Sang-ryul, have come up with detailed measures to technically improve the Nuri rocket.
Recently, a review of related measures was completed through a dedicated evaluation group composed of external experts from industry, academia, and research institutes.
The main improvement to be applied to the Nuri rocket is to change and reinforce the structure of the helium tank lower support part and the manhole cover of the three-stage oxidizer tank.
The design is changed so that the fixing device of the lower support of the helium tank is strengthened, and the thickness of the manhole cover is reinforced so that the Nuri rocket can fly stably even in a changing environment during flight.
Since the third end of the flight model to be used for the second launch of the Nuri rocket was completed last year, when the production of the part to be changed this time is completed, the third end is dismantled, reassembled, and airtight testing will be conducted.
After implementing all these technical improvement measures, it is predicted that it will take about an additional month to assemble the first, second, and third stages of the flight model for the second launch and to mount the performance verification satellite on the Nuri rocket. As a result, the launch time will be changed from the originally scheduled May in 2022 to June.
The second scheduled launch date is June 15, and the preliminary launch date is from June 16 to June 23.
Kwon Hyun-joon, director of the Ministry of Science and ICT's mega public research policy officer, said, "The Korea Aerospace Research Institute and related industries are making every effort to ensure that the technological complement of the Nuri is well progressed."