SpaceX Launches South Korea’s First Lunar Orbiter Danuri on Falcon 9 Rocket


South Korea’s first lunar orbiter efficiently launched on a year-long mission to look at the Moon, Seoul stated Friday, with the payload together with a brand new disruption-tolerant community for sending knowledge from area.

Danuri — a portmanteau of the Korean phrases for “Moon” and “get pleasure from” — was on a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida by Elon Musk’s aerospace firm SpaceX. It goals to succeed in the Moon by mid-December.

“South Korea’s first lunar orbiter ‘Danuri’ left for area at 8:08am on August 5, 2022,” Seoul’s science ministry stated in a tweet, sharing a video of the rocket blasting off trailing an enormous column of smoke and flames.

“Danuri would be the first step in direction of the Moon and the farther universe,” it stated, apparently referring to the nation’s bold area programme, which incorporates plans for a Moon mission by 2030.

SpaceX tweeted that the launch had been successful.

“Deployment of KPLO confirmed,” it stated, referring to Danuri utilizing an acronym of its official identify, the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter.

Throughout its mission, Danuri will use six completely different devices, together with a extremely delicate digital camera supplied by NASA, to conduct analysis, together with investigating the lunar floor to determine potential touchdown websites.

One of many devices will consider disruption-tolerant, network-based area communications, which, based on South Korea’s science ministry, is a world first.

BTS in area

Danuri may even attempt to develop a wi-fi Web atmosphere to hyperlink satellites or exploration spacecraft, they added.

The lunar orbiter will stream Ok-pop sensation BTS’ music “Dynamite” to check this wi-fi community.

One other instrument, ShadowCam, will document photographs of the completely shaded areas across the poles of the Moon the place no daylight can attain.

Scientists additionally hope that Danuri will discover hidden sources of water and ice in areas of the Moon, together with the completely darkish and chilly areas close to the poles.

“This can be a very important milestone within the historical past of Korean area exploration,” stated Lee Sang-ryool, head of the Korea Aerospace Analysis Institute, in a video proven earlier than the launch.

“Danuri is just the start, and if we’re extra decided and dedicated to expertise improvement for area journey, we can attain Mars, asteroids, and so forth within the close to future.”

South Korean scientists say Danuri — which took seven years to construct — will pave the way in which for the nation’s extra bold aim of touchdown on the Moon by 2030.

“South Korea will turn into the seventh nation on this planet to have launched an unmanned probe to the Moon,” an official on the Korea Aerospace Analysis Institute advised AFP.

“We hope to proceed contributing to the worldwide understanding of the Moon with what Danuri is ready to seek out out.”

Lunar ambitions

Danuri was launched by a personal firm — SpaceX — however South Korea not too long ago turned one among a handful of nations to efficiently launch a one-tonne payload utilizing their very own rockets.

In June, the nation’s homegrown three-stage rocket nicknamed Nuri — a decade in improvement at a value of $1.5 billion (roughly Rs. 11,864 crore) —launched efficiently and put a satellite tv for pc into orbit, on its second try after a failure final October.

That launch — coupled with Danuri’s launch Friday — helps carry South Korea ever nearer to reaching its area ambitions.

In Asia, China, Japan and India all have superior area programmes — and the South’s nuclear-armed neighbour North Korea has additionally demonstrated satellite tv for pc launch functionality.

Ballistic missiles and area rockets use related expertise and Pyongyang put a 300-kilogram (660-pound) satellite tv for pc into orbit in 2012 in what Washington condemned as a disguised missile check.


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South Korea’s first lunar orbiter efficiently launched on a year-long mission to look at the Moon, Seoul stated Friday, with the payload together with a brand new disruption-tolerant community for sending knowledge from area. Danuri — a portmanteau of the Korean phrases for “Moon” and “get pleasure from” — was on a Falcon 9 rocket…