PC Nikkei Asia
On Thursday, South Korea successfully launched its first lunar mission from Cape Canaveral’s Space Force Station to the moon aboard a SpaceX rocket.
South Korea live broadcasted the orbiter separating from the Falcon 9 rocket called Danuri, which means enjoy the moon, successfully.
It is 678 kilograms (about 1,500 pounds) and includes six payloads, with equipment created by Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).
South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT predicts that the mission will reach the moon in December, stay there for one year, and observe potential landing sites. The spacecraft will conduct scientific research, study the moon’s environment, and also test internet technology.
After China, Japan, and India, South Korea will become the seventh lunar explorer in the world and the fourth in Asia, if it succeeds.
Friday’s launch marks the height of South Korea’s ongoing space program and their hope to send a probe to the moon by 2030.
In June, the country launched a satellite with its homegrown Nuri rocket. This was a significant step for its space program.
The launch of satellites into space has long been a sensitive issue on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea is currently under international sanctions because it has a nuclear-armed ballistic missile program.
After the Republic of Korea and the United States accused North Korea of launching a space vehicle disguised as an intercontinental ballistic missile, North Korea responded by asking to advance its space launch site.
The South Korean space program is ostensibly for peaceful and scientific purposes, while any military application, such as in spy satellites, is for the country’s defense.