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SpaceX launches Korea’s first spacecraft to the Moon


The KPLO spacecraft launched into space on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Base in Florida, USA, at 6:08 am today (Hanoi time).

Spacex launches first spacecraft to the moon for south korea

The two Falcon 9 rocket stages separated after 2.5 minutes of launch. After 9 minutes, the first stage landed precisely on SpaceX’s “Just Read the Instructions” unmanned spacecraft. This is the sixth landing of this stage.

The second stage continued to carry the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) into space, putting the spacecraft into a lunar transition orbit 40 minutes after launch. However, KPLO still has a long way to go due to following a fuel-efficient flight path. It is expected to reach lunar orbit in mid-December. This orbit is circular and about 100 km from the surface of the Moon.

KPLO, aka Danuri, will be the first step to secure and verify South Korea’s space exploration capabilities, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), the agency in charge of the KPLO mission. This first step will pave the way for a robotic moon landing in 2030 – a major milestone for South Korea if all goes according to plan.

The KPLO spacecraft is worth $180 million and is expected to orbit the Moon for at least a year. The ship weighs 678 kg, carrying 6 scientific instruments, including 5 tools developed by Korea and one instrument of NASA.

The spacecraft helps test the technologies needed to reach and explore the Moon, and does meaningful scientific work. It will measure the magnetic force on the lunar surface and evaluate resources such as ice water, uranium, helium-3, silicon, and aluminum, as well as map the terrain to help select future landing sites .

Thu Thao (Follow Space)

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