South Korea’s first lunar probe Danuri begins entering lunar orbit
Danuri, South Korea’s first space exploration mission, finally reaches the moon after a four-month journey.
That Danuri According to a statement, the spacecraft was scheduled to enter lunar orbit at 2:45 p.m. EST (1945 GMT, 2:45 a.m. December 17 South Korea) on Friday (December 17). (opens in new tab) from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). The maneuver, the first of five planned engine burns through Dec. 28 to refine Danuri’s orbit around the moon, will clear the way for the probe to begin its science lunar targets.
Danuri, also known as the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), began its long and circuitous journey to the moon on Aug 4. start on one SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The lunar probe has traveled over 5.4 million kilometers in its journey so far, KARI officials said.
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The successful launch placed Danuri in ballistic lunar orbit, which took the spacecraft on a 134-day, fuel-efficient loop journey through Earth-Moon space. It eventually entered a polar lunar orbit with a target average altitude of 60 miles (100 kilometers) above the lunar surface.
The 1,495-pound (678-kilogram) KPLO is South Korea’s first reconnaissance mission to go beyond Earth orbit. This $180 million mission is ambitious; Danuri contains six separate scientific payloads designed to collect data for a range of scientific goals. Five of these instruments — a terrain imager, a wide-angle polarimetric camera, a magnetometer, a gamma-ray spectrometer and a test payload for a new network technology — were developed by Korean universities and research institutions.
NASA is also present with the sixth payload on board: a highly sensitive camera with a name ShadowCam This was designed to search persistently shadowed regions at the lunar poles for evidence of water ice deposits. The instrument’s data could be useful to NASA Artemis programthat aims to create a sustainable human presence on the moon.
After its first orbit entry maneuver, Danuri is expected to track four more during the lunar approach on December 21, December 23, December 26 and December 28 before settling into a final orbit on December 29, KARI wrote in an opinion (opens in new tab). All this data is local time for South Korea.
KPLO is part of the growing international interest and activity on the Moon. For example, Danuri reached the moon a month after NASA arrived KEYSTONE dice set that of the agency Artemis 1 Mission successfully launched into lunar orbit and saw the Orion spacecraft return to Earth while Danuri was en route to the moon.
Danuri also marks the first step toward even greater lunar ambitions for South Korea, which also envisions a robotic lunar landing in the area 2032 (opens in new tab) and a mission to Mars in 2045.
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https://www.space.com/south-korea-danuri-moon-probe-begins-orbit-entry South Korea’s first lunar probe Danuri begins entering lunar orbit