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Unha-3 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng, "Taepodong-2")

Unha-3 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng 3)

Unha-3 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng 3-2) [KCTV]

The Unha rocket, which bears the western codename Taepodong-2, is North Koreas second attempt to produce a long range missile. It is thought to be capable to reach the western areas of the United States or to place a small satellite into orbit.

The Unha is a three stage launch vehicle. The rocket uses storable liquid fuel. The first stage is a new design, which features four Nodong class engines with four steering engines and is 2.40 m in diameter. It uses Kerosene fuel and Inhibited Red Fuming Nitric Acid oxidizer as propellants. The second stage with a 1.5 m diameter features a Scud-class engine and uses also kerosene and nitric acid. The 1.2 m diameter third stage could be related to the second stage of the Iranian Safir rocket and uses UDMH and NTO as fuels.

A launch of an Unha-3 was conducted in April 2012, but failed to reach orbit. The rocket appears externally mostly identical to the Unha-2 rocket, but the third stage appears slightly stretched. A second flight of the Unha-3 was successfully conducted in December 2012, which put North Koreas first satellite into orbit. This rocket featured larger fins. The third flight was of identical appearance, but was referred by the name Kwangmyŏngsŏng instead of Unha-3. It appears to have under performed.

Version Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
Unha-3 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng) Stage 1 / 4 × Nodong-class engine Stage 2 / Scud-class engine Stage 3 (str.) / 2 × ?
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
Unha-3 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng) ? ? ? - - - -
No:    TNo:     Type              Date             LS    Payload

 3      1       Unha-3            12.04.2012 F     So    Kwangmyŏngsŏng 3
 4      2       Unha-3            12.12.2012       So    Kwangmyŏngsŏng 3-2
 5      3       Unha-3            07.02.2016 p     So    Kwangmyŏngsŏng 4

Planned launches:

Launch sites:

So  = Sŏhae Satellite Center, Ch’ŏlsan County, North P’yŏngan Province, North Korea North Korea

*  = suborbital


 1: Vehicle failed during stage 1 burn
 3: Vehicle underperformed