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'Abnormal' thruster halts South Korean space rocket launch

Third attempt to put first rocket in orbit cancelled

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

South Korea called off a third attempt to launch its first space rocket with just minutes to spare this morning.

The liftoff of Korea Space Launch Vehicle 1, also known as the Naro-1, was cancelled with 17 minutes left on the countdown clock.

"Abnormal signals from the thrust vector system of the upper (second) stage rocket of Naro have been detected," said Cho Yul-rae, vice minister for science and technology, according to news agency Yonhap.

Science minister Lee Ju-ho said it was unclear how long it would take to fix the problem and attempt another launch.

Today was South Korea's third go at getting a rocket into orbit and the second time the Naro-1 launch has failed.

Naro-1 was supposed to get off the ground at the end of October, but the takeoff was delayed due to a damaged seal in the connector between the ship's Russian-built first-stage rocket and the launch pad. ®

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