Naro Spacecraft Approved for Launch from Naro Space Center
The launch of Naro (KSLV-I), Korea's first spacecraft, has been finally approved by the government. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology convened a session of the Third National Space Committee on June 2, which reviewed and approved an application for the spacecraft's launch filed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).
The spacecraft is expected to be launched in late July. If it is launched successfully, Korea will become the 10th member of the Space Club, a group of nations that have succeeded in launching rockets, which they have developed with their own technologies, from their own space centers.
Up until recently, the Ministry had formed a committee consisting of space experts from various agencies including the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation to review the appropriateness of the purpose of Naro's launch, safe management procedures for the spacecraft, and KARI's capability to bear the financial burden.
Naro, or KSLV-1, will stay in low earth orbit for two years, fulfilling the role of testing technologies for weather observation and future practical-purpose satellites, in a space environment. It will be equipped with many devices such as microwave radiometer observation equipment, a laser reflector, and a pulsed plasma thruster.
Construction of the Naro Space Center is expected to be complete in June. The Ministry has set a goal to launch Naro on July 30, if possible, allowing for weather.