“This is a very important step in the history of Korean spatial exploration,” said Lee Sang-ryool, president of the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (Kari).
The first South Korean lunar space probe, Danuri, took off Thursday August 4 from Cape Canaveral, Florida (United States), for a one-year mission, according to images broadcast live on the Internet. Carried by a Falcon 9 rocket of the SpaceX group, the Danuri orbiter (a contraction of “dal”, which means moon, and “nori” which means to take advantage) must arrive near the moon mid-December.
In the launch video, Lee Sang-Ryool, director of the Korean Aerospace Research Institute, said: “This is a very important step in the history of Korean space exploration”. “Danuri is only the beginning. If we are even more determined and engaged in the development of technologies for space trips, we will be able to reach Mars, asteroids, etc. in the near future”, a- he predicted.
During the mission, Danuri will use six different instruments, including an ultrasensible camera provided by the American space agency (NASA) which will be used in particular to study the lunar surface in order to identify landing sites for future missions . Danuri must also test, as a world premiere according to the South Korean government, a new spatial communications system in the resistant network of disturbances.
The group of K-Pop BTS thoroughly in space
The probe will also try to set up a wireless internet environment intended to link satellites or exploration devices through space. This wireless connection in space will be tested by continuously broadcasting the dynamite song of the K-Pop Cult BTS group. According to South Korean scientists, Danuri – whose construction lasted seven years and cost some 2,000 billion won (1.5 billion euros) – will open the way for more ambitious objectives. South Korea plans to put a probe on the lunar floor by 2030.
“If this mission succeeds, South Korea will become the seventh country in the world to have launched an undeled probe towards the Moon,” said Kari’s official to the France-Presse.
“This is a crucial moment for the South Korea Space Development Program, and we hope to continue to contribute to the global understanding of the Moon with what Danuri will discover,” he added.
In June, South Korea had successfully launched the first space rocket of national design, which had put in orbit several satellites, after a failure in October.