Saturday, October 1, 2022

South Korea’s first Moon orbiter ‘Danuri’ launched into space

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South Korea has joined the race to the Moon with the launch of its first lunar orbiter by Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX.

Danuri – meaning “enjoy the Moon” – was carried on a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida by Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX. It aims to enter the Moon’s orbit in December.

During the year-long mission, Danuri will use six different instruments to conduct research, including investigating the lunar surface to identify potential landing sites for future missions.

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One of the instruments will evaluate disruption-tolerant, network-based space communications, which, according to South Korea’s science ministry, is a world first.

Danuri, which took seven years to build, will also try to develop a wireless Internet environment to link satellites or exploration spacecraft, the ministry added.

The lunar orbiter will stream K-pop sensation BTS’s song Dynamite to test the network.

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The launch comes as South Korea accelerates its space programme, seeking to send a probe to the moon by 2030 and join nine countries working on the Artemis project aimed at a lunar landing mission by 2024.

 

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