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Hyundai Rotem, Hanwha, KAI, and Hyundai Heavy took responsibility for ‘test facilities and core technology’

The Nuri is about to be launched from the 2nd launch pad at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, Jeollanam-do on the 21st. Photo = Korea Aerospace Research Institute

Hyundai Rotem, Hanwha, Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), and Hyundai Heavy Industries were responsible for testing facilities and key parts for the Korean launch vehicle ‘Nuriho Project’, raising the status of the Korean space industry.

In addition, the successful launch of the Nuri spacecraft on the 21st made Korea the 7th space power in the world.

◇ Hyundai Rotem has been silently supporting us for 10 years

The projectile-related test facility in which Hyundai Rotem participated is the ‘Propulsion System’ facility.

In the Korean launch vehicle development project hosted by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KAERI), the final test of the finished product is carried out at the propulsion engine system facility.

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A test is being carried out at the propulsion engine system facility. Photo = Korea Aerospace Research Institute

Hyundai Rotem participated in the facility construction after winning a basic design service project from Hangzhou in 2011.

Construction design and test facility production began in 2014, and a site was established at the Naro Space Center in 2015 to build the test facility for three years. After the facility was completed in 2017, the second stage water flow test (propellant charging and discharging test) of the Korean launch vehicle was started, and the first stage combustion test was completed in March of this year, and has been steadily supporting the project for 10 years.

The Korean launch vehicle propulsion engine system test facility is the result of combining the know-how and expertise of related organizations such as Hyundai Rotem as well as the Korean Air Force. In particular, it has important significance in that it is the first comprehensive test facility built in Korea without the introduction of foreign technology.

In addition, it is believed that it was of great help to the development of the Korean space industry in that it was proactively testing and launching the Nuri, a three-stage liquid rocket developed with domestic technology, through domestic facilities.

In addition, the facility was built to test the 7t, 75t and 300t class projectiles.

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An image of the 75t liquid rocket engine mounted inside the Nuri. Photo = Hanwha Group

◇ Hanwha participated in the production of liquid rocket engines from an early stage

Hanwha Aerospace, which operates defense and satellite businesses, has been involved in manufacturing the liquid rocket engine, which is the core of the Nuri.

The 75t liquid rocket engine is the core device of the Nuri-ho, which has been independently developed since 2010 by Hangwooyeon and Hanwha Aerospace.

From the initial stage of the business, Hanwha Aerospace has been in charge of building engines, turbo pumps, and test facilities.

Only when the liquid rocket engine is operating normally can the projectile overcome gravity and reach space orbit. It can be said that Hanwha Aerospace, which has taken on a heavy duty, has completed this project together with Hangwooyeon.

In addition, Hanwha Corporation contributed to the project by developing an acceleration/reverse propulsion motor and a mission control system for the Nuri-ho.

◇ KAI and Hyundai Heavy lead the project success by taking charge of ‘assembly management and launch pad production’

KAI oversaw the assembly of parts made by about 300 companies that participated in the production of the Nuri.

The first stage propellant fuel tank and oxidizer tank, which are the basic and most difficult projectiles, were also produced by KAI.

Hyundai Heavy Industries manufactured the ground launch pad and the green structure umbilical tower.

The 48m high umbilical tower injects oxidizer and propellant into the projectile.

The success of the launch of the Nuri is evaluated as an achievement that will remain in history because it was achieved through the integration of KAI’s general assembly, Hyundai Heavy Industries’ launch pad and structure, Hanwha’s engine technology, and Hyundai Rotem’s test facility.

Reporter Ji-wan Nam, Global Economics, [email protected]

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