Geoff FordenIll-Fated KSLV 1

This morning’s news reports indicate that, once again, South Korea has failed to put a satellite into orbit. Some might wonder why we discuss this issue on ACW. However, it makes a very interesting case study for how countries acquire missile technology. And failures are much more interesting that successes! Stay tuned!

UPDATE (6:13 PM 10 June 2010) The BBC is reporting that the KSLV-1 blew up something like 2 minutes after launch and that there is video of it. Gotta get me a copy of that!


  1. Rwendland (History)

    Science Minister Ahn Byong-man says it would have been at an altitude of about 70 km when the first stage failed at 137 seconds.

    I remember reading a report the trajectory is over Japan, similar to NK launches. I wonder if Japan will get publicly upset with this one?

  2. Geoff Forden (History)

    I neglected to put a link to some of my past posts about the KSLV. Here is one that talks about the overflight issue.

  3. Tal Inbar

    What is the strange “bow” OF THE slv? it was similar MANEUVER as was observed on the 2009 launch.

  4. chad

    I wonder how long until KCNA draw attention to the double standards associated with ROKS’s attempt today and their Unha launch last year.

    Also interesting that the DPRK is more seemingly a bit more successful in these matters.

  5. Azr@el (History)

    *“Also interesting that the DPRK is more seemingly a bit more successful in these matters.”*

    I think that is too strong a statement in light of the numerous catastrophes that have struck the DPRK’s program. I think it more appropriate to say that the two Koreas dip from the the same kimchi tofu hot pot of luck when it comes to space shots.

  6. Josh (History)

    The video seems to stutter a lot, but it’s on YouTube, right here.

  7. Murray Anderson (History)

    Here’s a short video of the failure at
    I got the link from
    There seem to be explosions at 132, 134, and 137 seconds.

  8. Josh (History)

    For whatever reason, I can’t get the above video to play all the way through to the failure, and am wondering if anyone else is having better luck.

    On a related note, here’s a nice animation of last year’s space launch, visually explaining the cause and nature of the failure. It also shows a ground track south of the main Japanese islands, passing instead over the Ryukyu chain.

  9. Josh (History)

    And here’s a working video of the failure of the second KSLV launch, as seen on TV.

  10. Murray Anderson (History)

    Correction to my preceding post:
    The times should be 1 minute 32 seconds and so on; thus 92, 94, and 97 seconds. I was fooled by the similarity of 1: 37 sec to 137 sec, the reported failure time (and was being careless).
    There does seem to be something going wrong though.