Please make a donation to support Gunter's Space Page.
Thank you very much for visiting Gunter's Space Page. I hope that this site is useful and informative for you.
If you appreciate the information provided on this site, please consider supporting my work by making a simple and secure donation via PayPal. Please help to run the website and keep everything free of charge. Thank you very much.

Unha ("Taepodong-2")

Unha-2 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng 2) [KCTV]

Unha-3 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng 3-2) [KCTV]

Unha-9 (Model) [KCTV]

The Unha rocket, which bears the western codename Taepodong-2, is North Korea's 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. IIt 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.

The first launch (Unha-1 ?) was most likely a test flight of the missile configuration or a suborbital test flight.

A second launch attempt featuring a three stage rocket (Unha-2) was conducted in April 2009, but failed to orbit its payload.

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. The third flight was of identical appearance, but was referred by the name Kwangmyŏngsŏng instead of Unha-3. It appears to have under performed.

A model of a Unha-9 was displayed in December 2012. This version appears to feature a stretched first stage.

Version Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
Unha-1 ? Stage 1 / 4 × Nodong-class engine ? ?
Unha-2 Stage 1 / 4 × Nodong-class engine Stage 2 / Scud-class engine Stage 3 / 2 × ?
Unha-3 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng) Stage 1 / 4 × Nodong-class engine Stage 2 / Scud-class engine Stage 3 (str.) / 2 × ?
Unha-9 Stage 1 (str.) / 4 × Nodong-class engine Stage 2 / Scud-class engine Stage 3 (str.) / 2 × ?
Performance (kg) LEO LPEO SSO GTO GEO MolO IP
Unha-2 ? ? ? - - - -
Unha-3 (Kwangmyŏngsŏng) ? ? ? - - - -
No:    TNo:     Type              Date             LS    Payload

 1      1       Unha-1 ?          04.07.2006 F *   To         R&D ?
 2      1       Unha-2            05.04.2009 F     To         Kwangmyŏngsŏng 2
 3      1       Unha-3            12.04.2012 F     So LP-1    Kwangmyŏngsŏng 3
 4      2       Unha-3            12.12.2012       So LP-1    Kwangmyŏngsŏng 3-2
 5      3       Unha-3            07.02.2016 p     So LP-1    Kwangmyŏngsŏng 4

Planned launches:

 6      4       Unha-3 ?          xx.xx.202x       So LP-1    Kwangmyŏngsŏng 5 ?

Launch sites:

So  = Sŏhae Satellite Center, Ch’ŏlsan County, North P’yŏngan Province, North Korea North Korea
To  = Tonghae (Musudan-ri), Hwadae County, Hamgyong Province, North Korea North Korea

*  = suborbital


 1: Vehicle failed after ~40 sec
 2: Stage 3 failed
 3: Vehicle failed during stage 1 burn
 5: Vehicle underperformed

Cite this page: