South Korea delays first rocket launch

A television screen in a Seoul rail station showing a broadcast on the suspended rocket launch.
South Korea’s first rocket launch has been delayed because of a technical glitch, the country’s official news agency reported.

“There was a problem in the automatic launch sequence that caused the launch to be called off,” Lee Joo-jin, the head of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. He did not elaborate. Today was the seventh time that “the project” had been delayed since 2002, the news agency reported. It was unclear when the launch — originally scheduled for about 5 p.m. (4 a.m. ET) from the Naro Space Center — would happen.

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, Yonhap reported. The long-term goal is to create an unmanned space probe that can reach the moon by 2025, the agency reported.