K-space takes off

Space ambitions: South Korea’s first homegrown space rocket is a triumph that proves it has key technologies to build a space-based surveillance system and bigger missiles, say the country’s officials. — AP

SOUTH Korea made a major step forward in the intensifying space race by successfully launching its homegrown space rocket, Nuri, and setting the stage for more ambitious space projects going forward.

The 200-tonne Nuri space rocket lifted off from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, at 4pm on June 21, and an hour later the science minister described the launch as a “monumental moment” not just in the nation’s push to advance its science and technology prowess, but in its entire history.

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