|Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1|
Friday, October 26, 2012
Gas Leak Halts South Korea Countdown
South Korea's highly anticipated Naro-1 space rocket launch, originally scheduled for today, has been delayed at least 3-days, after officials discovered a gas leak in the Russian-made first stage rocket, according to Arirang.
The call to abandon the launch from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, about 485 km (301 miles) south of Seoul, came five hours before scheduled liftoff, Reuters reported. The fuel injection repair of the first stage will require the rocket to be removed from the launch pad and returned to the horizontal integration facility requiring at least three days.
"If the problem is serious, we may not be able to launch in the current window," Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) President Kim Seung-jo said. South Korea has set a launch window of Oct. 26 to 31. The officials indicated a new window may have to be set.
South Korean officials said Russian engineers had found a leak in the sealing while injecting helium gas into the first-stage booster. The second stage South Korean-made booster and it has been an issue in two previous unsuccessful flights by the KSLV-1 rocket.