Thu 04-08-2022 12:51 PM
CAPE CANAVERAL, United States/SEOUL, 4th August, 2022 (WAM) — South Korea’s state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) was carrying out final preparations in the United States on Thursday ahead of the upcoming launch of the country’s first lunar orbiter.
The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter — also known as Danuri — is set to be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US state of Florida at 7:08 pm. Thursday (US Eastern Time), or 8:08 am Friday (Korean time). The 678-kilogram spacecraft was transported to the US station last month.
According to KARI and the science ministry, Danuri is currently encapsulated inside the Falcon 9 rocket’s payload fairing. The rocket was raised vertically on the launchpad.
Authorities said all systems related to Danuri and the rocket were functioning normally, and expected good weather on the day of the launch. The launch was initially scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed for two days due to a maintenance issue with the rocket.
Danuri marks South Korea’s first space mission to travel beyond Earth’s orbit. Its mission is to measure terrains, magnetic strengths, gamma rays and other traits of the lunar surface using six onboard instruments during its yearlong mission, starting in late December after traveling into lunar orbit for 4 1/2 months. It will also identify potential landing sites for future lunar missions.
WAM/Rola Alghoul/Esraa Ismail