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CGI render of a KSLV-II at the launch pad
|Function||Orbital launch vehicle|
|Country of origin||South Korea|
|Height||47.2 m (155 ft)|
|Diameter||3.5 m (11 ft)|
|Mass||200,000 kg (440,000 lb)|
|Payload to LEO (600~800km)||1,500 kg (3,300 lb)|
|Payload to LEO (300km)||2,600 kg (5,700 lb)|
|Engines||4 KRE-075 SL|
|Thrust||266.4 tf (2,612 kN; 262.2 LTf; 293.7 STf)|
|Specific impulse||261.7s (SL), 289.1s (Vac.)|
|Fuel||LOX / RP-1|
|Engines||1 KRE-075 Vac.|
|Thrust||80.4 tf (788 kN; 79.1 LTf; 88.6 STf)|
|Specific impulse||315.4s (Vac.)|
|Fuel||LOX / RP-1|
|Engines||1 KRE-007 Vac.|
|Thrust||7.0 tf (69 kN; 6.9 LTf; 7.7 STf)|
|Specific impulse||325.1s (Vac.)|
|Fuel||LOX / RP-1|
KSLV-II, also known as Nuri (누리), is South Korea's second carrier rocket and the successor of KSLV-1. This three-stage rocket is entirely developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), and planned launched into space in 2021. All stages will use indigenously developed rocket engines. The South Korean government is setting SpaceX as a role model, especially in making cheaper and reliable rockets for commercial launch service. The goal is to launch a 1,500 kg payload into a 600–800 km low Earth orbit (LEO) and 2,600 kg into a 300 km LEO.
KSLV-II is a three-stage rocket. First stage booster uses four KRE-075 SL engines generating 266.4t of thrust with specific impulse of 289.1. Second stage booster uses a single KRE-075 Vac. engine, which uses a wider nozzle for efficiency in vacuum with specific impulse of 315.4. Third stage booster uses one KRE-007 engine with specific impulse of 325.1s. All engines use rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) as its fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) as its oxidizer.
Further improvements will be added after the success of KSLV-II program, such as replacing the current engine configurations with 86.6 ton force and increasing specific impulse to 315.4s. This will be possible with making the engine more light, for example, removing the ignitor or limiting the gimbal axis. The payload capacity of the improved KSLV-II will increase from 1.5t to 2.8t.
- In March 2014, the first combustion test of the 7-ton class combustor was successfully completed, and the total assembly and initial ignition test of the 7-ton class engine started in July 2015. In addition, the first phase of the project was completed with the addition of a three-stage engine combustion test facility and a combustor combustion test facility. However, the problem of combustion instability in the 75-ton burner remained a matter of rework.
- Hanwha Techwin Co. has signed on January 25, 2016, a 14.1 billion won (US$11.77 million) contract with the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to produce both types of liquid propellant rocket engines for the KSLV-II.
- On January 8, 2016, the second phase of the project was carried out to overcome the difficulties of combustor combustion instability and welding technology of the liquid engine fuel tank. Combustion test of the 75 ton class liquid engine which is at the core of the first and second stage propulsion. The combustion test of a few seconds was successful.
- On May 3, 2016, the KARI's 75-ton rocket engine (engine to be used as on the first and second stage) at the Naro Space Center in Gohung, Jeollanam Province, started a 1.5 second short-time spark ignition test and burned for 75 seconds on June 8, 2016. Following the success, on July 20, 2016, at 1:39 pm, the final target combustion time of 145 seconds (147 seconds) was successfully achieved. During the combustion test, all the measured values such as combustion safety and combustion thrust were within the error range. It worked normally. During a real space launch, the first stage engine should burn for 127 seconds and the second stage engine for 143 seconds.
- Starting from October 2016, combustion tests of the second 75 t-class liquid engine was conducted over 200 times to produce 17 test models of sea level and high-temperature combustion.
KRE-075 SL Engine
|Thrust||66.6tf (SL), 75.9tf (Vac.)|
The KRE-075 engine was developed after the 30tf engine development program.
KRE-075 Vac. Engine
The Test Launch Vehicle (TLV) is a two stage-rocket, qualifying the performance of the KRE-075 engine which will power the KSLV-II. The TLV is 25.8 meters in length, 2.6 meters in diameter, and with a mass of 52.1 tons. The main-stage Kerolox engine is fully gimballed. With the 2nd stage engine installed, the TLV will perform as a Small Sat Launch Vehicle.
KSLV-II 2018 Flight
|Dry Mass||38 tons|
The TLV was launched from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province, on November 28, 2018. The main objective of the first suborbital flight was for the single-stage rocket's main engine to burn 140 seconds, reaching a 100 km altitude before splashing down in the sea between Jeju Island and Okinawa Island.
The maiden flight was first delayed from October 25, 2018, for two months, due to abnormal readings detected in the rocket propellant pressurization system. The test flight was then rescheduled for November 28, 2018, at 16:00 KST(UTC+9). No payload is to be placed into orbit.
The launch of the TLV while deemed successful with its main engine burning for 151 seconds in a 10-minute flight, was not broadcast live. After reaching a maximum suborbital altitude of 209 kilometers, the rocket stage hit the ocean 429 kilometers southeast of Jeju.
Since the first flight ended successfully, there won't be the second flight of the TLV.
KSLV-II will be used in launching several Earth observing satellites, such as KOMPSAT, medium-class satellites and LEO reconnaissance satellites. KSLV-II is planned to be used in South Korea's moon exploration mission to send orbiters and landers to the moon. KSLV-II will be South Korea's first rocket to enter the launch vehicle service market. KSLV-II's launch cost will be approximately $30 million, offering cheap launch service for South-East Asian countries.
Also, the improved version of the KSLV-II will be used to launch the Korean Lunar Lander by 2030.
- Naro Space Center
- Falcon 9 (uses engine clustering, similar to KSLV-II)
- Unha-9 (North Korean competitor)
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