Photo Gallery

Unha-3 debris analysis

2012, Dec. 14
-- South Korea's Navy has retrieved debris of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket. The 3.2-ton upper part of the first stage (oxidizer tank),
 which was inscribed with the rocket's name "Unha," is 7.6 meter long.




Lower part of the tank

Upper part of the tank






Oxidizer drain

Interior view

Welds and the original green
 paint of the rocket


Captured oxidizer-tank of Unha-3 first stage

2012, Dec. 23 -- After examining the 3.2-ton wreckage a team of 42 South Korean military, rocket and missile experts has concluded that the wreckage is an oxidizer container,
which stored red fuming nitric acid*,to fuel the rocket's first-stage propellant. The storable oxidizer that contains highly toxic chemicals is rarely used by countries with advanced space technology, the defense ministry said, quoting the team's findings. The tank storing about 48 (?) tons of oxidizer. The rocket itself was made of a mixture of aluminum and magnesium, AIMg6, and was equipped with a camera tasked with monitoring engines, a propellant motor and fuel pipelines on its side.
* Is this statement truth or just propaganda ? The tank was filled with seawater !

2012, Dec. 23 --  South Korea's Navy has retrieved three more pieces -- a fuel tank, its combustion chamber and an engine connection rod -- from the lower part of the Unha-3 first stage in the Yellow Sea.

2012, Dec. 28 -- South Korea has retrieved half a dozen items of debris from North Korea's Unha-3 rocket engines.


Captured fuel-tank and engines of Unha-3 first stage

2013, January 02
Debris analysis: & (translation)


Two Nodong engines

Unha separation rockets

Chinese sep. rockets
 Injector plate


First stage: Oxidizer tank

First stage: Fuel tank

Second stage

 Third stage


Steering engine in action

Note: The first stage was steered not by jet vanes. Instead the analysis states the Unha first stage uses four small “auxiliary engines". These engines are probably steering engines from an old Soviet missile, but not from the Soviet R-27 SLBM. The surface of the combustor has ripple marks !
These small engines have permanently a white refractory cover. The thrust of these engines is small (~4x10 kN). Thus is the propellant consumption minimal in any case, because they are used in a controlled mode.



Unha first stage Vernier


Covered Verniers