South Korea will have to wait a few more days for its next attempt to join the club of space faring nations. The countdown of Friday’s planned launch of the Naro-3 rocket was halted when helium pressurization of flight systems revealed a leak in a fuel coupler at the pad / rocket interface. The next launch attempt could be scheduled as soon as three days.
If the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI ) is successful in the upcoming attempt, one group which will probably not be toasting that success is the North Korean Military, and for several reasons. Chosun media reported earlier this week that a number of North Korean senior military officers, including the vice-minister of the People’s Armed Forces were executed by firing squad for the crime of drinking alcohol during the official mourning period for recently deceased dictator Kim Jong-il.
This charming anecdote from a nuclear armed totalitarian state, which soon could have as many as 40 such weapons , and is quite possibly colluding with Iran in helping develop that regime’s own doomsday arsenal, could be taken as yet another small piece of evidence which suggests that we need to “back up” human civilization as quickly as possible, even if that means sending Psy to Mars and suffering through yet another rendition of “Gangnam Style.”