Danuri expected to enter lunar orbit in mid-December
By Baek Byung-yeul, Joint Press Corps
The South Korean-developed lunar probe Danuri began its journey to reach lunar orbit on Friday after successfully launching into space, according to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Information Communication.
The Department said the lunar orbiter, carried by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, was launched Friday (8:08 KST) from Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and entered Earth-Moon migration orbit. He said he confirmed a successful entry.
With the launch going smoothly, Danuri will cruise in space for about four and a half months before entering lunar orbit in mid-December. After that, it will remain at about 100 kilometers above the moon for about one year from January 2023 to carry out a scientific mission. If the Orbiter is successfully operated, South Korea will become her seventh country to explore the lunar surface.
“Danuri separated from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle at an altitude of approximately 703 kilometers at approximately 8:48 a.m. and established first communication with a ground station at approximately 9:40 a.m., approximately 92 minutes after launch. ‘ said the ministry.
“The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) analyzed information provided by SpaceX and confirmed that the Danuri separated from the projectile and entered its target trajectory as planned,” the ministry added. .
The Ministry of Science has revealed its future plans for Danuri, stating that the lunar orbiter will “move to a point where the gravitational forces of the sun and the earth are in balance to minimize fuel burn, and then change its direction around September 2nd.”
Under its mid- to long-term space development plan, Korea began developing the lunar orbiter in 2016. It is equipped with six kinds of observation and analysis equipment and, excluding a ShadowCam device offered from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the other parts were developed by Korean research institutes and universities.
After the Danuri successfully made contact with the ground station, Science and ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho said the lunar orbiter is the first step in Korea making history in space exploration.
“The Danuri, which has emerged from the Earth`s full gravity and is heading to the moon, will be remembered as the first step in Korea’s space exploration history. Thank you very much to the 59 government-run research institutions, universities and private companies that have developed the Danuri over a long period,” Lee said.
The minister added, “The Danuri has a lot of work to do in being placed in lunar orbit and carrying out a one-year mission,” adding that the government will provide active support to ensure the mission’s success.
President Yoon Suk-yeol congratulated Danuri on its successful launch and wished it a successful lunar orbit.
“South Korea’s Danuri has successfully completed his 130-day lunar exploration journey,” Yoon wrote on his Facebook after the launch.
The President had high hopes for Dhanuri, hoping that it would become a stepping stone for the country’s space program.
He said Dhanuri would represent the first step for nations to join the space economy.Exploration.
“Dhanuri is a national trailblazer in advancing the space economy era and making the country a natural resource powerhouse,” the president added.
Credit/Source : KOREATIMES