Korea’s first test launch of a civilian science rocket was attempted in Jeju. Jeju Special Self-governing Province and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) test-launched a civilian science rocket for the first time in Korea at a beach in Yongsu-ri, Hangyeong-myeon, Jeju City from 11:30am on the 29th of last month.
Launched precisely at 11:53am, the civilian science rocket failed to reach the originally-planned trajectory due to strong gusts at the launch site. However, it was able to confirm the normal operation of equipment such as sensors to relay the rocket’s flight data in real time. Eventually, the automatic flight end system suspended the engine, leading the rocket to fall into the sea.
Former Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong congratulated the team with a message, “I would like to thank all of you for persevering and opening a new space age in Jeju.” Vice President Lee Seung-seob of KAIST commented, “This year marks KAIST’s 50th anniversary. Despite all the failures and setbacks throughout the five decades, KAIST was able to reach its current standing as it took on challenges again and again,” adding that “We will continue to do our best to open a new chapter in space development by continuing to implement civilian rocket research development alongside the Jeju government.”
A source related to Jeju Special Self-governing Province remarked, “This attempt will be used to reflect on continuing joint efforts with KAIST in the space development industry, such as launching civilian science rockets,” and emphasized, “In particular, as the 2022 business plan of the Ministry of Science and ICT includes the ‘fostering of the space industry led by the private sector,’ we will implement measures such as formulating a plan to establish the relevant cluster in cooperation with the central government,” declaring a pioneering vision for the private space industry.
A college student who attended the launch on site commented, “The rocket that was launched today isn’t just a product of science, but a symbol of Jeju’s dream as launched by Jeju itself,” and expressed, “Although it failed to reach the planned trajectory, it will become a new turning point to pioneer the space development industry and policy in Korea.”
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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