North Korea’s entry into the world’s portfolio of rocket launch suppliers failed early Friday April 13, when its rocket blew up around 60 to 90 seconds into its satellite launching mission.
The Unha-3 rocket failed despite North Korea’s confidence that – this time – everything would go well. Indeed, it was so confident of success that it invited the world’s press to witness the launch, only to suffer the embarrassing failure.
The launch was carrying an “observational weather satellite”, designed to celebrate the birth date this Sunday of the nation’s founder, Kim Il Sung.
While many leading nations have criticised the launch, the failure will deliver a sigh of relief for the world’s existing launch specialists, including Arianespace, Proton/ILS and Sea Launch. They can relax for a few more years while South Korea’s technicians examine what went wrong.