South Korea failed in its second attempt to launch a research satellite into space using a domestically developed rocket, dealing a blow to the country’s ambition to snare a share of a $250 billion global market.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute said it lost contact with the 33-meter (108-feet) KSLV-I rocket, or Naro, shortly after it was launched at 5.01 p.m. local time today. The rocket, which was carrying a 100-kilogram research satellite, appeared to veer off course and fall from the sky, according to footage on YTN TV. The government hasn’t yet confirmed this, BusinessWeek says.
The rocket was carrying a satellite that the country wanted to use to study climate change.
The launch was initially scheduled for Wednesday, but was scrapped after the firefighting equipment in the rocket malfunctioned, CNN reports.