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South Korea orders Arianespace launch

February 3, 2023

By Chris Forrester

South Korea has selected Arianespace’s Vega C mid-sized rocket to launch its KOMPSAT-6 satellites that has remained grounded due to sanctions imposed on Russia for invading Ukraine.

The satellite was due to be launched by a Russian Angara rocket from its Plesetsk Cosmodrome.

South Korea’s vice minister for science, Oh Tae-seog, said that the Vega-C rocket was selected for the launch following an international bidding exercise. In December 2022, South Korea formally cancelled the Russian contract for what was originally planned to be a late 2022 launch. He didn’t comment on whether Korea would be looking for compensation for the launch delay.

The one challenge remaining is for the formal investigation to be completed over the loss of a Vega-C rocket on December 20th 2022. Arianespace and the European Space Agency established an independent commission to report on the failure.

A launch date will then be provide for the Korean satellite. However, there are other pending launches affected by the Russian delays.

CAS500-2 is a remote sensing satellite and the SNIPE mission which is a constellation consisting of four 6U CubeSats.

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