Test Flight | Nuri

Lift Off Time
(Subject to change)
October 21, 2021 – 07:00 UTC | 16:00 KST
Mission Name
Nuri Maiden Flight
Launch Provider
(What rocket company is launching it?)
Korea Aerospace Research Institute
(Who’s paying for this?)
Korea Aerospace Research Institute
Nuri (KSLV-II)
Launch Location
LC-2, Naro Space Center, Goheung, South Jeolla Province, South Korea
Payload mass
Up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lb)
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:
– 1st mission of the Nuri rocket
– 4th Korea Aerospace Research Institute mission
– 4th mission of a KSLV rocket

– 100th orbital launch attempt of 2021
Where to watch
KARI Official Livestream

What does all this mean?

Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) is preparing for the maiden flight of their Nuri rocket, which is scheduled for launch on October 21, 2021 from Naro Space Center, in South Korea. If this launch is successful, South Korea will become the seventh country to successfully launch a fully indigenous rocket.

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

Nuri Maiden Flight

Nuri (누리), which means “world,” (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.

On this maiden flight Nuri will only carry a dummy satellite to orbit, but KARI plans to take a ~200 kg satellite and a ~1,320 kg dummy satellite to orbit when they next launch Nuri in May 2022.

It is hoped that Nuri will be used to launch Earth observing satellites, such as KARI’s KOMPSAT which has previously been launched on the Ariane 5 rocket. 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.

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

2018 Test Flight

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.

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.

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
00:16:16Dummy satellite 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.

  1. So the KRE-075 and 007 use Jet A-1 fuel instead of RP-1. What difference does this make to combustion?

  2. So the KRE-075 and 007 use Jet A-1 fuel instead of RP-1. How does the less refined kerosine affect combustion?

    1. It is all about the quality control of the fuel; if the Jet A-1 has very strict formulations the rocket engine can be made to run on it just like RP-1. They blew up alot of engines way back when till they figured out rockets are extremely sensitive to the quality of the fuel. That is actually where RP-1 comes from. It is just a very clean and consistent formulation of kerosene.

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