Oct 21, 2021 - World

South Korea launches first domestic space rocket

People watch the launch of Nuri on TV at a Seoul railway station on Oct. 21.
People watch the launch of Nuri on TV at a Seoul railway station on Oct. 21. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

South Korea launched its first domestically produced space rocket on Thursday but failed to deliver a test satellite into orbit after the rocket's final stage shut down early, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: The test of its Nuri — or "world" — rocket was a major step forward for South Korea, an up-and-coming space power, but shows that it still has room for improvement in future trials.

  • South Korea is among the countries that are expected to achieve space travel and develop domestic space agencies in the near future.

What they're saying: "Unfortunately, we did not fully reach our goal," South Korean President Moon Jae-in said after watching the launch, according to a transcript viewed by Reuters.

  • "It's not long before we'll be able to launch it exactly into the target trajectory," he added. "The 'Korea Space Age' is approaching."

The big picture: Space is set to become more congested over the next decades as more countries, such as South Korea, and companies gain the ability to regularly access it and as economies become more reliant on space-based technologies.

  • South Korea hopes to use its space program to develop new surveillance, navigation and communications systems and for space exploration, according to Reuters.

Go deeper: A whole new ballgame in space

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