A handout photo made available by the Brazilian Air Force shows the launch of South Korean startup Innospace's HANBIT-TLV, a 8.4-ton thrust single stage hybrid rocket, at the Alcantara Space Center in Alcantara, northern Brazil, 19 March 2023. EFE/EPA/Brazil Air Force / HANDOUT SOUTH KOREA OUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

South Korea’s Innospace announces success of first test launch vehicle

Seoul, Mar 21 (EFE).- South Korean startup Innospace reported Tuesday the successful flight of the country’s first civilian-made test launch vehicle, an important achievement for the Asian country’s civil space industry.

The Hanbit-TLV suborbital hybrid rocket took off on Sunday from the Alcántara Launch Center, the Brazilian space base in the state of Maranhao.

According to Innospace, Hanbit-TLV’s engine burned for 106 seconds (12 seconds less than expected, although the result has been considered successful) and the rocket flew for 4 minutes and 33 seconds before dropping into Brazilian waters.

The company also said that the Brazilian-made inertial navigation system called SISNAV, which the rocket carried as a payload, worked properly.

The launch tested the performance of the hybrid engine, which will eventually be applied to the Hanbit-Nano, a two-stage commercial rocket for launching small satellites and capable of carrying a 50-kilogram payload.

Innospace is a South Korean company that intends to use the Brazilian base as a platform to send satellites into space on behalf of various countries.

The company had wanted to launch this first test rocket since December but the operation was postponed several times due to technical problems and bad weather. EFE