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SEOUL, November 14 (Itar-Tass) — The second launch of the Naro-1 rocket with a research satellite that was planned for November 24 has again been postponed. The reason for this is that the defective part of the rocket’s first liquid-propelled stage that needs replacement will not be delivered from Russia by this weekend, representatives of the Launch Preparation Committee said on Wednesday. The Committee was established under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Korea.
The repair part is expected to be delivered only on Saturday, after which the replacement operation and system check-up will take at least three days. Then seven more days will be needed for the second cycle of the preparation of the rocket the other name of which is the Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-1) for the space launch at the Naro space centre on the southern end of the Korean Peninsula.
South Korean officials do not see any other serious problems that could foil another attempt at launching the rocket after November 24, as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had been in advance notified of the planned launch.
“There is a growing voice that we must not hurry to meet the designated date as a successful launch is more important than anything else,” an official of the Launch Preparation Committee said, adding that the launch will likely take place before the end of the month.
Initially, the Naro-1launch was scheduled for October 26, however, a broken rubber seal in the connector between the rocket and its launch pad was found only hours before the scheduled launch. The problem was originally thought to be a minor issue but Russian engineers, who built the connector along with the rest of the first-stage rocket of the KSLV-1, later found the seal was damaged due to a gap between the seal and the connector’s steel component. The first two attempts to launch the KSLV-1 rocket, taken in August 2009 and June 2010, were unsuccessful.