Korea’s plan to launch a satellite that would give it an all-weather monitoring system by the end of this year has been thwarted by Russia. The satellite, the Arirang-5, is capable of 24-hour weather observation, even in cloudy weather and on dark nights.
But the Russian government, which had promised to provide the rocket, has not yet issued the permit. There is a clause on compensation for delayed launches in the agreement, but as pursuing compensation takes a long time and the Korean government has already paid more than half of the US$16.1 million cost of the launch to a Russian space agency, there is little the Korean government can do.
Minister of Education, Science, and Technology Lee Ju-ho told Korean correspondents in Moscow on June 1. “We have asked the Russian Federal Space Agency to clear the Arirang-5 for launch in the second half of this year, but haven’t heard back from them.”
Lee was in Russia on a three-day trip to visit the space agency and the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, which manufactured part of a space rocket Korea is hoping to build.