Fire in South Korean rocket facility

South Korea today reported that a fire had broken out in its Naro Space Center during work on a turbopump for a next generation rocket.

The fire started at 3:25 p.m. Tuesday at the Naro Space Center in the country’s southern coastal village of Goheung and was extinguished about an hour later, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT. The ministry said some experimental equipment was affected by the fire but reported no injuries.

The fire broke out while researchers were conducting an experiment to develop a 10-ton turbopump that injects fuel into an engine for a new space rocket, codenamed KSLV-III.

The KSLV-III will be an upgrade of the KSLV-II, also called Nuri, which has a launch scheduled right now in May. The KSLV-III is part of a $1.6 billion government project to develop this new rocket by 2032.