Science

South Korea’s first lunar space probe has taken off

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South Korea’s first lunar space probe was recently carried by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket took off from Cape Canaveral, America. The probe, Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, is also called Danuri. It should travel on a pre-planned low-energy, fuel-efficient BLT (Ballistic Lunar Transfer) route in the direction of the Moon.

The lunar journey is expected to last 4 and a half months. The probe and the ground station had their first communication about an hour after the launch. The South Korean government will give official news if Danuri successfully reaches the intended path. The launch should have been done earlier, but was postponed due to rocket maintenance issues.

Danuri is South Korea’s first space mission beyond Earth’s orbit. The purpose of the mission: the measurement of the terrain, gamma rays, other details of the Moon’s surface and magnetic forces. All using six onboard tools. The mission will last one year starting from the end of December 2022, after a trip in the lunar orbit of 4 and a half months. Danuri’s task will also be to identify valid landing sites for future missions to the Moon .

The mission involved NASA together with KARI. They have made an agreement to work since December 2016. NASA has joined the different phases of planning the missions. It thus provided access to the global Antennae Deep Space Network agency for the spacecraft track. In short, this event opened a new chapter in the country’s space history.

  • Space: first South Korean lunar space probe took off (ansa.it)
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