South Korea postpones first rocket launch


South Korea on Wednesday postponed the launch of its first space rocket 8 minutes before the scheduled liftoff because of technical problems. The launch has been delayed several times since late last year.

The Korea Space Launch Vehicle-1, also known as Naro-1, was scheduled to blast off 5 p.m. (local time) from the Naro Space Center in Goheung. The 108-foot-long rocket, which has been developed with the assistance of Russia, costs about 502.5 billion won ($400 million), according to local reports.

On board the launch vehicle was a 220 lbs. South Korean-built research satellite.

It would have been the country’s first launch of a rocket into space from its own territory. Since 1992, it has launched 11 satellites from overseas sites, all on foreign-made rockets. In April 2008, Seoul sent its first astronaut aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.