KSLV-2 – Space Launch Report

KSLV-2 – Space Launch Report

KSLV-2 (Korean Space Launch Vehicle-2, also identified as Nuri) is a fully South Korean orbital launch vehicle development effort, a follow-on to the original Russian/South Korea KSLV rocket used to launch the first earth orbiting satellite from South Korea in 2013.  Although the first KSLV only reached orbit once in three attempts, the program included the creation of a new launch site that will be adapted for KSLV-2.       

KSLV-2 will be a three-stage rocket designed to boost 1,500 kg to a 700 km sun synchronous low Earth orbit.  All three stages will use LOX/kerosene propulsion developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). 

KSLV-2 – Space Launch Report

The first stage, 3.5 meters diameter, will be powered by four KRE-75 gas generator engines each producing 75 tonnes of sea-level thrust.  The 2.6 meter diameter second stage will be powered by a single, vacuum-optimized KRE-75.  A small 7 tonne thrust gas generator engine (KRE-7) will power the 2.6 meter diameter third (kick) stage.  KSLV-2 will stand 47.2 meters in height and will weigh around 200 tonnes at liftoff.  Plans call for the rocket to enter service during the early 2020s. 

Also read: New Launchers – KSLV

KRE-75 Test Firing

KSLV-2 – Space Launch Report

Development of the 75 tonne thrust engine began during 2015.  Launch vehicle design ran concurrently. 

During December, 2018, this phase of the program culminated in the suborbital test flight of the first KSLV-2 Test Launch Vehicle (TLV) from Naro Space Center, powered by a single KRE-75.  The TLV consisted of a KSLV-2 second stage powered by a single KRE-75 first stage engine, topped by a dummy third stage.  This test fired the engine for 143 seconds and reached at least a 185 km apogee.  A second TLV of this type may subsequently fly.

KSLV-2-TLV Launch, 11-28-2018

The final phase of development will result in the three-stage launch vehicle flying during the early 2020s.

Vehicle Configurations

 LEO Payload
(metric tons)
(1) 700 km x 98 deg
(metric tons)
KSLV-21.5 tS1(4xKRE-75) + S2(1xKRE75) +S3(1xKRE-7)47.2 m200 t

Vehicle Components

Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Diameter (m)3.5 m2.6 m 2.6 m~ 2.6 m )
Length (m)– m– m-m~ m (est)
Empty Mass (tonnes) 
Burnout Mass (tonnes)– t (est)– t (est) 
Propellant Mass (tonnes)– t (est)– t (est) 
Total Mass (tonnes)– t (est)– t (est)  t (est)
(SL tons)
300 t (total) 
(Vac tons)
~ t~75 t7 t
ISP (SL sec) s 
ISP (Vac sec) s– s (est) 
Burn Time (sec) s– s 
No. Engines/Motors411
CommentsGas GeneratorVac Optimized 

KSLV-2 Launch History

                           KSLV-2 LAUNCH LOG

DATE     VEHICLE         ID      PAYLOAD               MASS(t) SITE*      ORBIT*
11/28/18 KSLV-2-TLV      TLV     R&D Suborb Test               NA         SUB [1]


[1] Test Launch Vehicle using 2nd stage and dummy 3rd stg.  209 km apogee.  
    Planned 306 x 1,500 km near-polar orbit.
NA = Naro Space Center
[FTO] = Failed to Orbit
 LEO  = Low Earth Orbit
 SUB  = Suborbital


by Ed Kyle

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