, 2022-12-05 03:00:00,
On Friday, December 2nd, a National Airlines Boeing 747-400 freighter took off from Seoul’s Incheon International Airport. It made the long flight journey, with a stop in between, before landing at Marechal Cunha Machado International Airport in Brazil the following day. Except this was no ordinary cargo flight, as the jumbo freighter was transporting a 15-tonne hybrid rocket.
A special type of cargo
Developed by South Korean space startup INNOSPACE, the hybrid rocket is known as HANBIT-TLV, a small satellite launcher powered by hybrid rocket engines. The first test flight of the HANBIT-TLV is scheduled for December at the Alcântara Launch Center in Brazil as part of an agreement between INNOSPACE and the Brazilian Department of Aerospace Science and Technology.
The agreement would eventually see HANBIT-TLV launching the SISNAV, an inertial navigation system project supported by the Financier of Studies and Projects of the Brazilian Government and the Brazilian Space Agency. The first suborbital test flight of HANBIT-TLV will carry the SISNAV payload and help verify that it operates well in specific environments such as vibration, shock, and variable temperatures.
However, transporting the 15-tonne HANBIT-TLV would be pretty challenging, as the single-stage rocket stood at approximately 16.3 meters. With a diameter of 1 meter and a weight of 9.2 tons, INNOSPACE needed to find an efficient way of ferrying such an enormous cargo…
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