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South Korean space firm tests its HANBIT-TLV in Alcântara

INNNOSPACE's rocket can open possibilities in Brazil's space sector

Liftoff from Alcântara

Innospace, a South Korean startup specializing in the development of hybrid engines, has announced the launch of the Hanbit-TLV – an 8,400 kg, 16.3 m long, single-stage engine rocket – from the Alcantara Space Center in Maranhão, northeastern Brazil . Brazil, at 14:52 local time on Sunday, March 19, 2023. The vehicle (the 500th launch made from the spaceport) carried the Brazilian SISNAV payload on a flight that lasted 4 minutes and 33 seconds. The test, carried out by the Korean team and with observation and participation of the Brazilian Air Force, can endorse the Alcântara launch polygon as a place capable of hosting launches of private orbital rockets of various nationalities - which could, in the medium and long term, open opportunities for that Brazilians have access to space.

"We will announce the engine flight performance results and whether the payload mission will complete successfully after a comprehensive analysis of the flight data," Innospace said in a letter to reporters. The suborbital launch vehicle was loaded with the Brazilian military's inertial navigation system – SISNAV – which weighs 20 kilos. If the tests are successfully completed and commercial operation begins, Innospace could become the first private company in South Korea to offer satellite-to-orbit services.

Official statements from the Brazilian Air Force media

The Head of the Technical Subdepartment of the Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DCTA), Brigadier Engineer Luciano Valentim Rechiuti, said that the Operation, called Astrolábio, “was the result of the partnership between the DCTA and the South Korean company INNOSPACE and demonstrates the national capacity in developing space technologies and launching rockets”. “The success of this binational launch, involving Brazil and South Korea, confirms that the Center is fully capable, both from a technical-operational point of view and from an administrative point of view, to carry out launches of national and foreign rockets in practically any time of the year, accurately and safely. After all, the Center has specialized and highly qualified teams, as well as infrastructure and preparation systems,

“We are extremely happy with the result, as it reflects the work of many professionals involved and several challenges overcome throughout the process”, pointed out CLA Director, Colonel Engineer Fernando Benitez Leal.