South Korea launched a lunar orbiter on Thursday
South Korea’s first Moon mission launched
South Korea on Thursday launched a lunar orbiter, which will explore future landing spots. The satellite launched by SpaceX is taking a long detour to save fuel and will arrive in December. If this mission is successful, it will join the US and India spacecraft which are already orbiting around the Moon.
At the same time, a Chinese rover is exploring the distant surface of the Moon. India, Russia and Japan will launch new Moon missions at the end of this year or next year. And NASA is about to launch its Mega Moon rocket in late August.
South Korea’s first moon mission
South Korea’s US $ 180 million mission is the country’s first step in Lunar Exploration. This solar powered satellite is designed to skim just 100 km above the lunar surface. Scientists expect to collect geologic and other data from this low polar orbit for at least a year.
This is South Korea’s second shot in space in six weeks. In June, South Korea successfully launched a package of satellites into orbit around Earth using its own rocket for the first time. The first attempt failed the last and the test satellite failed to reach orbit.
Will work with NASA
In May, South Korea participated in a project led by NASA. Through which, they will explore the Moon with astronauts in the years and decades to come. NASA has set a target of the end of this month for the first launch in its Artemis program. The goal is to send an empty crew capsule around the Moon to test the system before a crewed climb in two years.
Danuri (in Korean it means enjoy the moon) is carrying six science instruments, including a camera, for NASA. It is designed to be observed in permanently shadowed, ice-filled craters at the lunar poles. Due to the evidence of frozen water, NASA says that astronauts should be sent to the Lunar South Pole in the future.
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