Encyclopedia Astronautica

Credit: © Mark Wade
S Korean LVs
South Korean indigneous rockets.
Credit: © Mark Wade
South Korean sounding rocket. Test bed for development of an orbital launch vehicle, powered by the liquid oxygen/kerosene engine planned for the KSLV-I. However flown only once in 2002.

The go-ahead for KARI to proceed with developement of a liquid propellant launch vehicle came in December 1997. The KSR-III demonstrated key technologies for the KSLV-I satellite launch vehicle in the propulsion, guidance, control, and mission design areas.

The Korea-developed pressure-fed liquid oxygen/kerosene motor provided a thrust of 12,500 kgf at sea level. This would be equivalent to the X-405 motor developed in the United States for the Vanguard space launcher in the 1950's. For the test launch, available pressurant only allowed a burn time of 53 seconds, with about 2500 kg of propellant consumed. Available tank volume indicated the stage was designed to be loaded with over 4000 kg of propellant.

Payload: 150 kg (330 lb) to a 80 km altitude.

Stage Data - KSR-III

  • Stage 1. 1 x KSR-3. Gross Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Empty Mass: 700 kg (1,540 lb). Thrust (vac): 122.500 kN (27,539 lbf). Isp: 280 sec. Burn time: 95 sec. Isp(sl): 240 sec. Diameter: 1.00 m (3.20 ft). Span: 1.00 m (3.20 ft). Length: 9.60 m (31.40 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: KSR-3. Status: Hardware 2002. Comments: All values except thrust estimated.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 6,000 kg (13,200 lb).
Payload: 150 kg (330 lb).
Height: 14.00 m (45.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.00 m (3.20 ft).
Thrust: 122.00 kN (27,426 lbf).
Apogee: 80 km (49 mi).
First Launch: 2002.11.28.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
  • Korea South South Korea became familiar with large-scale rocketry through maintenance and modification activities on American-supplied Honest John and Nike Hercules tactical missiles. By the 1990's Korea had developed an independent capability to manufacture solid propellant rocket motors of up to one tonne mass. In 1990 KARI was funded to build the first indigenous sounding rockets, flown as the KSR-I and KSR-II. In December 1997 KARI was allowed to proceed with development of liquid oxygen/kerosene rocket motor for an orbital launcher, but this was abandoned when the South Korean government decided it wanted to be among the top ten spacefaring nations by 2015. The existing program was too limited in growth potential to allow that. Therefore it was decided to leapfrog the technology by contracting with Russian companies. First launch of the KSLV-I launch vehicle from the new space centre took place in 2010. More...

See also
  • KSR South Korean indigenous sounding and test rocket family, using solid rocket motors and a test vehicle with a liquid oxygen/kerosene motor. Further development of the latter into the KSLV satellite launch vehicle was abandoned in 2005 in favor of licensed Russian technology. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • KARI South Korean agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Korea South. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Anhueng South Korean sounding rocket launch site, used from June 1993, known to have been used for 5 launches from 1993 to 2002, reaching up to 150 kilometers altitude. More...

Associated Stages
  • KSR-3 Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 5,000/700 kg. Thrust 122.50 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 280 seconds. All values except thrust estimated. More...

KSR-III Chronology

2002 November 28 - . 05:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Anhueng. LV Family: KSR. Launch Vehicle: KSR-III. LV Configuration: KSR-I-1.
  • KSR-III Launch Vehicle Technology Test / Aeronomy mission - . Nation: Korea South. Agency: KARI. Apogee: 43 km (26 mi). The rocket reached 42 km altitude and a speed of 902 meters per second. It impacted in the West Sea 85 km from the coastal launch site, 231 seconds after launch. In preparation for the launch, KARI and related agencies successfully carried out ignition tests in May and August.

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