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KSLV-II at the launch pad CGI Render 02.jpg
CGI render of a KSLV-II at the launch pad
Country of originSouth Korea
Height47.2 m (155 ft)[1]
Diameter3.5 m (11 ft)[1]
Mass200,000 kg (440,000 lb)[1]
Payload to LEO1,500 kg (3,300 lb)
Thrust75,000 kgf (740,000 N; 170,000 lbf)

KSLV-II, also known as Nuri (누리), is South Korea's second carrier rocket and the successor of KSLV-1.[2] This three-stage rocket is entirely developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), and planned launched into space in 2021.[3] 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)[3] and 2,600 kg into a 300 km LEO.[4]


KSLV-II is a three-stage rocket. First stage booster uses four 75 ton force engines, generating nearly 300t of thrust with specific impulse of 298.1. Second stage booster uses one 75 ton force engine, which uses a wider nozzle for efficiency in vacuum with specific impulse of 315.4. Third stage booster uses one 7 ton force 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.


Staged combustion cycle rocket engines should improve the overall performance of the lanchers. A new 9 tons force engine should soon be tested.

The next improvement will be the focus of KARI with an uprated version powered by 4 engines in cluster plus 4 liquid boosters layout.[5]

Further improvements will be added after the success of KSLV-II program, such as replacing the current engine configurations with 85 or 95 ton force and increasing specific impulse. The first stage engine is designed to be reused, just like the Merlin 1D engine. This engine can be reused after being recovered, which lowers costs and improves efficiency of the launch program.


Engines development[edit]

  • 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.[6]
  • 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. Around 2020, it is expected that the domestic solid-propellant motor used in the NARO will be used for the unmanned lunar probe.[7]

KRE-007 Engine[edit]

Fuel RP-1/LOX[8]
Thrust 7 metric tons
Specific Impulse 325.1s
Height ?m
Diameter ?m

KRE-075 Engine[edit]

An artist rendering of the KSLV-II 75 ton-class engine
KRE-075 Engine
Fuel RP-1/LOX[9]
Thrust 75 metric tons
Specific Impulse 298s
Height 2.9m
Diameter 2m

KSLV-2 TLV[edit]

The Test Launch Vehicle (TLV) is a two stages rocket used to test the performance of the 75-tons and 7-tons thrust gas generator cycle engines that will power the KSLV-2. The KRE-075 engine of 75-tons thrust was developed on an uprated 30-tons thrust engine of the previous NARO rocket programme.[10] 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. [11][12]

Test flight #1[edit]

Wet Mass 52.1t[13]
Dry Mass 38 tons
Height 25.8m
Diameter 2.6m
Stages 1
Engine 1 KRE-075
Stages 2
- mass simulator

The first TLV was launched from the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Jeolla Province. 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.[14]

The maiden flight was first delayed from October 25, 2018, for two months, due to abnormal readings detected in the rocket propellant pressurization system.[15] The test flight was then rescheduled for November 28, 2018, at 16:00 KST(UTC+9). No payload is to be placed into orbit.[16]

The launch of the first TLV while deemed successful with its main engine burning for 151 seconds in a 10 minute flight[17], was not broadcast live.[18] After reaching a maximum suborbital altitude of 209 kilometers, the rocket stage hit the ocean 429 kilometers southeast of Jeju.[19]

Test flight #2[edit]

It is expected that the second stage powered by the new 7 tons thrust engine would be tested on the following flight.


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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Korea Space Launch Vehicle KSLV-Ⅱ". Korea Aerospace Research Institute.
  2. ^ "[출처: 중앙일보] 설계부터 제작까지 100% 국산 로켓 내달 발사". JoongAng Ilbo. September 7, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Korea Space Launch Vehicle KSLV-II". Korea Aerospace Research Institute. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  4. ^ "네이버 뉴스".
  5. ^ https://twitter.com/stoa1984/status/1067829665996320769
  6. ^ http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=13691
  7. ^ https://ko.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%EB%88%84%EB%A6%AC%ED%98%B8&action=edit&section=6
  8. ^ https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DtGwi2ZUcAE46TX.jpg:large
  9. ^ https://i.servimg.com/u/f48/19/39/35/83/scree261.jpg
  10. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1bi61y8qhw
  11. ^ https://twitter.com/kari2030/status/1039052196443172865
  12. ^ https://www.kari.re.kr/kor/kariimg/view.do?idx=1082&mno=sub05_01
  13. ^ https://i.servimg.com/u/f48/19/39/35/83/scree261.jpg
  14. ^ https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20181128003900320?section=science/science
  15. ^ http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/business/2018/10/17/0504000000AEN20181017011100320.html
  16. ^ https://twitter.com/kari2030/status/1062254241513795584
  17. ^ https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20181128003952320?section=news
  18. ^ https://twitter.com/kari2030/status/1067684625529503745
  19. ^ https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20181128008452320?section=science/science