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Replacement of defective rocket part arrives from Russia
SEOUL, Nov. 18 (Yonhap) -- The Russian replacement for a defective part in South Korea's space rocket that postponed its launch last month has arrived, the Seoul government said Sunday.

   According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, a new rubber seal in the connector between the rocket and its launch pad arrived in Seoul on Saturday and was moved to the Naro Space Center, some 480 kilometers south of Seoul. The defect in the part was believed to be the main cause of the failure of planned launch of the Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1 (KSLV-1) last month.

  


Engineers will replace the defective part and carry out a test for two to three days, with other mechanical preparations for the relaunch, the ministry added.

   The Launch Preparation Committee will hold a meeting around Monday and Tuesday to set a date for the relaunch of the space rocket, also known as the Naro-1, said the ministry. The new launch date is expected to be around Nov. 28.

   The country earlier planned to fire the Naro-1 on Oct. 26 but the plan was pushed back after the broken rubber seal in the connector was found only hours before the scheduled launch.

   The problem was originally thought to be a minor issue but Russian engineers, who built the connector along with the rest of the first-stage rocket of the KSLV-1, later found the seal was damaged due to a gap between the seal and the connector's steel component.

   The launch will be South Korea's third attempt to launch a space rocket from its soil. Two earlier attempts in August 2009 and June 2010 ended in failure.

   brk@yna.co.kr
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