S Korea launches space rocket, contact lost

Updated: 2010-06-10 16:45
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SEOUL - South Korea launched a locally assembled space rocket, but contact with the rocket was lost only a few minutes into the takeoff.

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The two-stage satellite-carrier Naro-1, or the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1), lifted off from the Naro Space Center in South Jeolla Province, about 485 kilometers south of Seoul, at 5:01 p.m. local time.

Despite the loss of contact with the ground controllers, whether the launch is successful or not has yet to be determined.

The launch of the rocket, developed with the help of Russian experts, came a day after a technical problem delayed the initially planned blast-off.

Last year, a technical glitch botched up the first launch. A faulty fairing assembly prevented the rocket from putting the satellite into the orbit and the rocket veered off course.