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Chronology of major events leading to S. Korea's 3rd Nuri space rocket launch

May 25, 2023 - 20:08 By Yonhap

South Korea launches the homegrown Nuri rocket for the third time, Thursday at 6:24 p.m. from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province. (Ministry of Science and ICT)

The following is a chronology of major events leading to the development of South Korea's homegrown space rocket Nuri, or Korea Space Launch Vehicle-II (KSLV-II), which was launched from Naro Space Center in the country's southern coastal village of Goheung on Thursday.

June 4, 1993 -- South Korea launches the homegrown one-stage solid propelled science observation rocket, called the Korea Space Rocket-I, after three years of development.

July 9, 1997 -- South Korea launches the homegrown KSR-II two-stage solid propelled science observation rocket. It adopted such advanced technologies as guided control and stage separation compared with the previous version.

March 26, 2001 -- South Korea joins the Missile Technology Control Regime, an informal international association that oversees the proliferation of unmanned delivery systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

August 2002 -- South Korea and Russia confirm plans to develop the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-I (KSLV-I) rocket, with a launch planned for 2005.

Nov. 18, 2002 -- South Korea launches the liquid-propellant science rocket of the KSR-III. It marked the first time that the country successfully built an independent liquid-fueled rocket, which laid the foundation for the development of small satellite launch vehicles.

2005 -- South Korea and Russia complete work on critical designs for the KSLV-I. The original launch date was postponed until October 2007.

June 11, 2009 -- South Korea opens Naro Space Center. Launch pad certification is completed using KSLV-I GTV. A complete first-stage rocket arrives from Russia by plane.

Aug. 11, 2009 -- After rounds of postponement, South Korea sets a new launch date for Aug. 19, 2009, following consultation with Russia.

Aug. 19, 2009 -- South Korea halts the countdown of the KSLV-I with less than eight minutes to go before blastoff after the automatic launch sequence system detects a problem in a high-pressure tank.

Aug. 25, 2009 -- The KSLV-I is launched and successfully enters orbit. But it failed to deploy a scientific satellite. An independent panel later confirmed a fairing assembly malfunction caused the failure.

March 2010 -- South Korea kicks off the project to develop the KSLV-II space rocket.

June 10, 2010 -- South Korea launches the KSLV-I for the second time, but it exploded 137.19 seconds after liftoff.

Jan. 30, 2013 -- After rounds of rescheduling, South Korea successfully launches the KSLV-I from South Korea's Naro Space Center.

March 2014 -- South Korea successfully conducts the first combustion test of the 7-ton-class liquid engine combustor for the KSLV-II.

June 8, 2016 -- South Korea successfully conducts the 75-ton liquid-fueled engine, which burned for 75 seconds.

March 2018 -- South Korea begins the comprehensive combustion test of the KSLV-II rocket.

Sept. 3, 2018 -- South Korea announces the name of the KSLV-II rocket is Nuri, which means the world in Korean.

Nov. 28, 2018 -- South Korea successfully test-launches the KSLV-Test Launch Vehicle to verify the performance of the liquid engine to be used for the KSLV-II.

Sept. 29, 2021 -- South Korea confirms the date of the Nuri rocket's first launch on Oct. 21 and begins final safety exercises.

Oct. 21, 2021 -- The KSLV-II Nuri rocket lifts off from Naro Space Center in the country's southern coastal village of Goheung. But it ended in partial success, as the rocket failed to put a dummy satellite into orbit despite the successful flight to a target altitude of 700 kilometers. A probe found that the helium tank in the third-stage rocket fell off due to increased buoyancy during the flight and eventually caused the engine to shut off prematurely.

June 15, 2022 -- South Korea postpones the second launch of Nuri, one day ahead of the scheduled liftoff, after detecting irregularities in a sensor in the oxidizer tank.

June 17, 2022 -- South Korea announces a plan to launch Nuri on June 21 after fixing a technical glitch in the oxidizer tank sensor.

June 21, 2022 -- The Nuri rocket lifts off. It succeeded in deploying a dummy and performance verification satellites at a target altitude of 700 kilometers. The satellite made its first communication with the King Sejong Station in Antarctica some 40 minutes after the launch, and the government confirmed Nuri's launch successful. South Korea became the seventh country in the world to develop a space launch vehicle that can carry a more than 1-ton satellite, after Russia, the United States, France, China, Japan and India.

April 11, 2023 -- South Korea sets May 24 as the 3rd launch date of Nuri.

May 24, 2023 -- South Korea calls off the launch of Nuri about three hours before the scheduled liftoff due to a computer glitch in a helium tank facility.

May 25, 2023 -- South Korea's Nuri space rocket lifts off from Naro Space Center. (Yonhap)