South Korea’s National Defense Science Institute released a video of the launch of a solid-fuel launch vehicle on December 30, 2022. The rocket uses solid fuel for the first to third sub-stages and liquid fuel for the upper stage.
Earlier on Friday, South Korean media reported that multiple unidentified flying objects were spotted appearing over South Korean airspace. Friday’s flight test reportedly coincided with a number of sightings of UFOs around the country. Many similar reports were made in Japan, and some people posted photos of bright triangular lights in the sky on social media.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry said the test could not be announced in advance due to security concerns.
Last year, South Korea and the United States agreed to lift restrictions on South Korea’s missile development, including the use of solid fuel. In June, South Korea took a major step forward in its space program when it successfully launched several satellites into orbit with the second test launch of a domestically produced liquid-engine Nuri rocket.
In March, the Agency for Defense Development conducted the first test of a homegrown solid-fuel space rocket at a test site 150 kilometers southwest of Seoul to confirm its capabilities.
The rocket is designed to put a small satellite into near-Earth orbit. Solid-fueled spacecraft are typically simpler and less expensive to launch than liquid-fueled spacecraft, and the South Korean Defense Ministry has also said it plans to launch a real satellite in the future after additional development procedures.