Apr 13, 2012
North Korea's rocket is flawed, embarrassing and not even a rocket
North Korea has launched its "rocket" today, and perhaps unsurprisingly it has blown up one minute after launch. I'm pretty sure this will be the beginning of the end of the Kim dynasty of North Korea.
Jon-un must be so upset, if it had succeeded it would have been another one of the "dear leader's genius achievement".
But let's not talk on the political side of this blunder; this is a science blog, after all.
This rocket was 30 m tall. I don't think that's anything small for a rocket;
It's taller than the 25.4m-tall lOMercury-Redstone rocket that carried the first American, Alan Shepard into space. The Soyuz rocket is 46 meters tall. The space shuttle is 56 meters tall.
So it's not a midget when you compare it with other rockets, and it would have been a big win for NK had it been successful, but that wasn't the case. The experts are looking at the first stage rocket as the guilty component, because it blew up relatively quickly at 1 minute into flight, and the first stage should have been on at that time.
But don't laugh at the secretive nation's big blunder; in 2009 they launched a rocket(missile) that flew 2300 miles out into the ocean. The national media of NK claimed the rocket had in fact reached orbit and was "sending down a song praising the dear leader", but it was pretty clear it had failed as a rocket.
And about the argument that this was in fact a missile test…
Rockets and missiles are practically the same thing. They look the same and does almost the same thing. (though of course one of them is used for a sinful objective-you can guess which. ) So if it was really a rocket, it would be easy for them to convert the technology for ballistic missiles. (and vice versa)
But in my opinion I think it's more of a missile. They showed off the "satellite" they had built to put into the rocket just a few days before the launch, and that is really unusual. Satellites are usually placed in the nose faring of the rocket more than a week before launch, and so this behavior is very suspicious.
Anyway, let's conclude by saying North Korea's missile technology is a threat, but it is unlikely for them to do another launch soon, because of this "rocket" 's embarrassing blunder.
And I sincerely hope space exploration will continue to be used for peace. Space exploration is there to quench the human curiosity, and never for Kim Jon-un's political success.