Korean Naro rocket to try launching again today at 5 pm (30 minutes from now)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's now 4:25 p.m. here in Korea and the Naro rocket is slated to try launching at 5:01 pm, so just a bit over half an hour from now. I'm outside the house so I'll have to see if I can find a live stream somewhere. Hold on a sec...

Edit: All right, thank you Gom Player! I have a live feed.

Edit 2: Uh...kind of thank you, Gom Player. The live feed only goes for 90 seconds and then asks the user to log in and Korea requires you to register on sites with your passport in process that takes a few days. Time to look for another feed. In the meantime the launch is happening in 24 minutes and if I can't find a better feed I'll have to put up with these 90-second bits provided to unregistered users.

Edit 4:41 pm: the automatic sequence starts 15 minutes before launch, so that's five minutes from now.

4:47 pm: the automatic sequence has now begun. 14 minutes to launch.

4:55 pm: I've resigned myself to 90 seconds of coverage at a time and will have to time it just right to see the launch as it happens since there's also a short commercial to get through right before the 90 second bit starts. Five minutes left and no problems so far, just announcers talking about the last launch and how they feel about this second attempt.

5:00 pm: 20 seconds to launch!

And launch! Up it goes. 50 seconds so far...

5:02 pm: we're looking at it from directly underneath now and it looks like a firefly.

5:03 pm: out of sight now, and has passed mach 1. People on the ground are celebrating though the first launch also looked like a complete success at this point so no celebrating until the satellite it's carrying is placed into a proper orbit.

5:05 pm: I think they just said that the first and second stage have now separated. Annoyance with 90-second spurts of coverage interspersed with commercials is beginning to increase.

5:07 pm: second stage now lit.

5:09 pm: Here's another image of the launch to look at while we wait.

5:10 pm: Communication with the rocket has been lost? This news just came in so no further details just yet. See:

Apparently there are three places where the location of the rocket can be ascertained - Jeju-do (the island in the south), Philippines, and somewhere else (wasn't paying attention for the third).

5:15 pm: Still no communication. Apparently the rocket could still be going as planned and just isn't communicating properly. Or of course the whole thing could have failed and that is the reason for the cut in communication.

5:17 pm: They're saying that success or failure of the rocket can be determined two hours after launch (from Norway) even if communication remains severed...by attempting communication with the satellite then, I think.

5:20 pm: the head of KAIST just made a quick announcement saying the same thing, that until the loss in communication there were no negative signs so they're still looking into what could be the problem. I think I'll take a break from the 90-second broadcasts and come back in ten minutes. Communication was cut off exactly 137 seconds after launch, at an altitude of 79 to 87 km.

5:38 pm: There's going to be a briefing at 6:10 pm. I have some cat business to take care of now so no more updates for a bit; spaceflightnow.com might be a good place to keep an eye on for more news.

7:30 pm: Now at home, and it turns out the launch has been a failure. A joint Korean-Russian commission will attempt to determine the cause. Well, at least the Falcon 9 launch was a success (and was a much more important launch as well from the perspective of humanity as a whole); two failures and this week would have been all bad news.

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