NEXTSat-2 & SNIPE | Nuri

Liftoff Time
(Subject to change)
May 24, 2023 – 09:24 UTC | 18:24 KST
Mission Name
Launch Provider
(What rocket company is launching it?)
Korea Aerospace Research Institute
(Who’s paying for this?)
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) 
Nuri (KSLV-II)
Launch Location
LC-2, Naro Space Center, Goheung, South Jeolla Province, South Korea
Payload mass
240 kg
Where is the spacecraft going?
Sun-synchronous orbit (SSO)
Will they be attempting to recover the first stage?
No, Nuri is not capable of recovery
Where will the first stage land?
In the sea between South Korea and Japan
Will they be attempting to recover the fairings?
No, Nuri is not capable of recovery
Are these fairings new?
How’s the weather looking?
This will be the:
– 3rd mission of the Nuri rocket
– 6th Korea Aerospace Research Institute mission

1st Korea Aerospace Research Institute mission of 2023
– 6th mission of a KSLV rocket

– 1st mission of a KSLV rocket in 2023
– 76th orbital launch attempt of 2023
Where to watch
If available, an official livestream will be listed here

What Does All This Mean?

Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) is preparing for the first operational flight of their Nuri rocket, which will be launched from the Naro Space Center, in South Korea. The launch will take a number of small satellites to orbit.

Nuri, wet dress rehearsal
Nuri on the launch pad for a wet dress rehearsal (Credit: The Ministry of Science and ICT)

The Mission

Nuri (누리), which means “world” in Korean, (also known as KSLV-II) is South Korea’s second rocket. It is the successor of the Naro-1 (KSLV-I), South Korea’s first ever rocket, which was successfully launched in 2013. Because the first stage of Naro-1 was built in Russia, Nuri will be the countries first fully indigenous rocket. The rocket was primarily developed by KARI, but around 300 companies also played a role in the development, including Korea Aerospace Industries, Hanwha Aerospace, and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Now that the rocket is operational, Nuri will be used to launch Earth observing satellites, such as the satellites on this mission. KARI has also planned to use Nuri for South Korea’s future Moon exploration missions, with an improved version of the rocket expected to launch a lunar lander in 2030.

On this mission, Nuri will take a number of small satellites to orbit. These are NEXTSat-2, SNIPE (4 CubeSats), JLC-101-v1-2, Lumir-T1, KSAT3U.

JLC-101-v1-2 is an Earth-Observation Technology Demonstration Cubesat which has a mass of 4 kg. Lumir-T1 is a Cosmic Radiation Monitoring Cubesat which has a mass of 10 kg. KSAT3U is an Earth Observation and Weather Monitoring Cubesat which has a mass of 6 kg.

NEXTSat 2 is a microsatellite designed and developed at SaTReC (Satellite Technology Research Center) of KAIST for an X-band radar technology demonstration. The satellite mass is 180 kg.

SNIPE (Small scale magNetospheric and Ionospheric Plasma Experiment), also known as KASI-SAT (Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute Satellite) is a mission consisting of four 6U CubeSats which will identify temporal and spatial variation of small scale plasma structures in the ionosphere and magnetosphere. Each of the CubeSats carry Langmuir Probes which measure ionospheric plasma density and temperature, fluxgate magnetometers to reconstruct geomagnetic field vectors, and high-energy particle detectors diagnosing electron precipitation from the terrestrial radiation belt. The total mass of the four CubeSats is 40 kg

Nuri, test model
A test model of Nuri (Credit: The Ministry of Science and ICT)

Nuri Test Flights

A single stage test version of the rocket was launched on November 28, 2018 from Naro Space Centre, allowing KARI to verify the performance of their engine and flight control systems. During the test, the main engine burned for 151 seconds, surpassing the initial goal of 140 seconds. The rocket then reached a maximum altitude of 209 km after flying for 319 seconds. The rocket landed in international waters between Korea’s Jeju Island and Japan’s Okinawa Island.

In October 2021, KARI attempted the first test flight of Nuri in its current three stage form. The rocket successfully flew to the planned altitude of 700 km but the engine burned out 46 seconds early, resulting in the dummy satellite, a 1,500 kg block of stainless steel and aluminium, failing to reach its intended orbit. After investigating the failure, KARI found that the device that anchored the helium tank in the rockets third stage was not fixed securely. KARI has since worked to improve the rocket by strengthening this device. This will allow Nuri to fly stably during the most dynamic stages of flight.

Test Flight 2 was the second attempt to launch the Nuri rocket after the failed first mission. This mission was success, making South Korea the seventh country to successfully launch a fully indigenous rocket.

What Is Nuri?

Nuri is a three stage rocket, capable of launching a 1500 kg payload into a 600–800 km low-Earth orbit (LEO) and a 2,600 kg payload into a 300 km LEO. The rocket is 47.2 m (155 ft) in height, and 3.5 m (11 ft) in diameter.

First Stage

The rocket’s first stage uses four KRE-075 sea level engines, which together produce 2,612 kN of thrust with a specific impulse (ISP) of 289.1 seconds. The stage burns for 127 seconds and uses Jet A-1 and Liquid Oxygen (LOx) propellant.

Second Stage

The second stage uses a single KRE-075 Vacuum engine, which has a wider nozzle than the Sea Level engine for increased efficiency and performance in a vacuum environment. The stage will burn for 148 seconds, and like the first stage engines, this stage uses Jet A-1 and LOX fuel. The engine produces 788 kN of thrust and has a ISP of 315.4 seconds in vacuum.

Third Stage

The rockets third stage uses one KRE-007 engine which produces 69 kN of thrust. The engine will burn for 498 seconds, and just like the first and second stages it uses Jet A-1 and LOX fuel. The third stage has an ISP of 325.1 seconds in vacuum.

KRE-075 engine
The KRE-075 engine (Credit: Korea Aerospace Research Institute)

Flight Profile*

00:02:07First stage separation 59 km
00:03:53Fairing jettison
00:04:34Second stage separation 258 km
00:16:16Satellites released700 km
*All times approximate

Future Versions Of Nuri

An upgraded version of Nuri, the GEO KSLV, is currently in development, which will be capable of taking payloads to geostationary orbit. This version will use four KRE-090 engines on the first stage, assisted by four side boosters each with a single KRE-090 engine. The second stage will use a single vacuum optimized version of the KRE-090 engine. The third stage will use a KRE-010V oxidizer-rich staged combustion engine.

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