Innospace, a Korean space start-up, said Monday its suborbital test launch vehicle, Hanbit-TLV, has been launched.
The 8.4-ton thrust single-stage hybrid rocket was fired from the Alcantara Space Center in northern Brazil at 2:52 p.m. Sunday, according to the company.
“We are now verifying the flight performance of the engine and its payloads,” Innospace said in a statement. “We will announce the final result of the launch later.”
Innospace had attempted to launch Hanbit-TLV since December last year but had postponed it several times due to weather conditions and mechanical errors.
The Hanbit-TLV, the first civilian small satellite launcher in Korea, is a test project to validate the first stage engine of Hanbit-Nano, a commercial rocket for small satellites capable of carrying a 50-kilogram (110-pound) payload.
Last year, Innospace signed an agreement with the Brazilian Department of Aerospace Science and Technology to launch the latter’s inertial navigation system, called Sisnav, being carried onboard as a payload of Hanbit-TLV.
If it succeeds in test-firing Hanbit-TLV, Innospace will possibly become Korea’s first private launch service provider, analogous to Space Exploration Technologies, known as Space X in the United States.
The Korean government has also led aerospace projects, including the most recent one that sent the 200-ton rocket Nuri into space in June 2022, carrying a 162.5-kilogram performance verification satellite.