South Korea failed on Thursday to launch a satellite into orbit with an independently developed rocket.

The dream of being the tenth country besides the European Union to master this technology independently has thus for the time being burst.

President Moon Jae-in said all three stages of the rocket's propulsion had fired and successfully disengaged.

However, the dummy satellite did not reach the planned height of 700 kilometers.

Still, Moon said the Korean space age was approaching.

The country wants to open the door to the lucrative business with satellite launches.

The next rocket launch is scheduled for May 2022.

South Korea plans to shoot a probe on the moon by 2030.

Patrick Welter

Correspondent for business and politics in Japan, based in Tokyo.

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The 200 ton rocket with the name “Nuri” or “Welt” took off from the southern island of Goehung one hour late. A 1.5 ton dummy satellite was on board. The missile was completely developed in South Korea. After a few false starts, the country first launched a Naro missile into space in 2013, which had been developed with Russian help. On Thursday, the engine in the third stage of the rocket did not burn long enough to give the satellite module enough momentum.

The Seoul government has spent nearly 2 trillion won on developing the missile since 2010. Around 300 companies are involved in the development. The threads come together at Korea Aerospace Industries. Hanwha Aerospace built the engine. Four more rocket launches are planned as tests by 2027. South Korea wants to use its own rocket technology, among other things, for a Korean satellite-based navigation system and for military satellites to monitor North Korea. So far, the country has relied on American surveillance for this. Last year, South Korea launched its first military satellite from Florida using the American rocket supplier Space X.

Missile launches are naturally associated with a lot of political baggage on the Korean peninsula in the conflict with the dictatorial regime in the north.

According to South Korean sources, the Nuri missile, which is powered by liquid fuel, is not intended as a military weapon.

However, the country is working flat out to develop its own ballistic missile technology.

In May, South Korea and the United States agreed to lift all restrictions on these missile developments.

Keywords: south korea, missile test, way, space, satellite test, space travel, ambitions, satellite, rocket, missile, orbit, rocket launch, moon jae-in, country, stages