South Korea will try again Tuesday to get its first space rocket into orbit, state media reported.
A series of delays have kept the rocket and its satellite payload earthbound, including a technical glitch that halted Wednesday’s countdown less than eight minutes before blastoff. The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 is scheduled to launch from the Naro Space Center on the southern coast about 5 p.m. (4 a.m. ET) Tuesday. South Korea spent 502 billion won (US $402 million) on the rocket, which is part of an ambitious plan to jump-start the country’s space program, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported. Officials plan another rocket launch in April.
The long-term goal is to create an unmanned space probe that can reach the moon by 2025, the agency reported. The rocket was originally scheduled to be launched in late 2005, before being pushed back to October 2007 and then 2008 due to “administrative and diplomatic reasons,” Yonhap reported.