Naro space rocket has successfully launched a satellite into orbit from its own soil for the first time. Wednesday's high-stakes launch comes just weeks after archrival North Korea successfully launched its own satellite to the surprise of the world. Its liftoffs in 2009 and 2010 failed. Two more recent launch attempts were aborted at the last minute because of technical problems.
The KSLV-1, also known as Naro, is a two-stage space launch vehicle that stands 33.5 meters tall. It has a maximum diameter of 2.9 meters and weighs 140 tons when fully loaded. Without fuel, the rocket weighs 10 tons, with the outer walls being 2 millimeters thick.