South Korea launched its first domestically developed space rocket on Thursday.

The rocket was supposed to put a satellite into orbit around the earth as a test, but it failed.

The tens of meters long KSLV-II, also known as the Nuri, was launched in Goheung province and reached an altitude of 600 kilometers within minutes.

The development of the more than 47 meters long rocket took about ten years and cost about 2 trillion won (1.4 billion euros).

The launch is a milestone for South Korea.

The country grew in recent decades to become the twelfth economy in the world, but lagged behind in the space sector.

Other Asian countries such as China, Japan and India already had advanced space programs.

Neighboring North Korea has also launched a satellite into orbit.

That happened in 2012 and was followed with suspicion by Western countries.

They saw the launch as a disguised missile test.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in followed the launch from Naro Space Center, where the rocket took off.

He promised that significant investments will be made in the space sector.

Moon had to admit that the launch of Nuri was not a success.

He stated that he is proud of the progress of the mission, but also said that it was not possible to put a satellite into orbit.

South Korean officials say they are still investigating exactly what went wrong.

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