June 14, 2024

The first South Korean lunar probe to reach orbit | free press

Interest in the moon has increased dramatically in recent years. South Korea is there too.

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Four months after it was launched into space, the first South Korean lunar probe has reached its target orbit. The Ministry of Science stated that the space probe “Korea Pathfinder” is running into a targeted orbit of the moon earlier than planned. It began orbiting the Moon on Tuesday. From there, it will collect data from the lunar surface for research purposes.

The orbiter, also known as “Danuri,” had previously completed three swing maneuvers instead of five. The spacecraft’s speed is reduced until it is safely captured by the moon’s gravity and reentries into orbit.

The project is part of South Korea’s plans for its own space exploration. A Falcon 9 rocket launched from Elon Musk’s private space company, SpaceX, in August, carrying the probe, from Cape Canaveral Spaceport in the US state of Florida. One of the orbiter’s missions is to explore possible landing sites on the Moon.

South Korea is also a signatory to NASA’s Artemis Space Cooperation Program. The plan is to send people to destinations like the Moon and Mars with a fully reusable take-off and landing system. (dpa)

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