The Marmot's Hole

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Tag: space exploration

Basically, we didn’t learn jack from the Naro-ho launch: Chosun Ilbo

Ye Olde Chosun—killjoys that they are—are bitching that the successful launch of the Naro-ho rocket doesn’t mean squat since it was done with a liquid fuel stage imported from Russia.

And making it worse, Korea stopped research on liquid fuel stages in 2002. Because of that, Korea doesn’t even have an engine test facility. Which means we’re pretty much still at square one in Korea’s goal to develop an indigenous launch vehicle by 2021. Which sucks.

One prof said if they’d continued developing rocket technology alongside the Naro-ho project (conducted with Russia), they might not have a rocket as good as the Naro-ho, but they’d have something a lot better than North Korea’s Unha 3.

The reason Korea suspended independent development, experts say, is because it failed to realize that no country shares its rocket engine technology. Japan was no exception to this. Its liquid fuel engine technology comes from the United States, but it was provided in “black box” form—that is, you could see the parts, but you couldn’t see how they worked. The Russians did the same thing with the Naro-ho’s first stage. Even the Science and Technology minister hadn’t touched the first stage of the rocket until five days before launch when, in Russian tradition, he “patted the ass” of the rocket as a prayer for success.

Marmot’s Note: Hey, don’t look at me. I don’t work for KAIST.

PS: The Chosun has a great image charting the development of the Korean space program.

Chosun Ilbo bitching about South Korea falling behind in the space race

You know who’s really upset about the North Korean missile launch?

The Chosun Ilbo, that’s who.

To be sure, they’re upset about the security lapse. But they’re also upset that according to “experts,” the South now lags seven to 10 years behind the North in space launch development. Which really ticks them off, because the South has 39 times the GDP or the North, 19 times the per capita income, and was ranked the world’s fifth most scientifically competitive nation by the IMD.

The problem, they say, is—wait for it, wait for it—the bilateral missile agreement Seoul has with los Estados Unidos. This agreement, says the Chosun, blocks Korea from not only building long-range missiles, but also developing rockets for space exploration. Even with the Naro project, the has inspected the Agency for Defense Development several times to make sure no missile parts have gone into it. Which, IMHO, is a dick move.

At any rate, the Chosun notes there’s no reason South Korea should be behind the North in space technology, that Japan and China have space programs, and Seoul needs to get with the program and present a new national vision and strategy for science and space development.

Marmot’s Note: I’m on record supporting South Korea’s development of not only long-range missiles, but also nice, shiny MIRV warheads to sit on top of those missiles, so sure, I’m down with rockets for “space exploration.” Whether space exploration should be a national priority is another matter. There was a time the Soviets were ahead of the United States in space technology, and look where that got them.

For what it’s worth, Park Geun-hye said during the last debate that the Korean flag would be flying on the moon by 2020. Moon Jae-in thought this was a good idea, too. Korea currently plans to put a landing vehicle on the moon by 2025. When will they put Sam Rockwell on the moon? That’s anyone’s guess.

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