South Korea Successfully Sends Satellites To Orbit

South Korea’s KARI ( Korea Aerospace Research Institute ) successfully put a commercial satellite into orbit Thursday, achieving another milestone in their domestic space program. The Nuri rocket (aka KLSV-2) left the Naro Space Center launch pad on the southern coast of the peninsula at 18:24 KST, after a communications glitch in the pad’s helium tank facility caused a one-day slip. The primary payload was the 180 kg refrigerator-sized Earth observation satellite NEXTSat-2. It uses synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and also has instruments to observe neutrons in near-Earth orbit due to the impact of solar activity on cosmic radiation. In addition, seven CubeSats were successfully deployed:

  • Justek JLC-101-V1.2, to verify satellite orbital control system
  • Lumir, measuring cosmic radiation and testing rad-hardened microprocessor design
  • Cairo Space, weather observation and space debris technology demonstration
  • KASI-SAT (Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute) SNIPE, actually four nano-sats which will achieve a 500 km – 600 km polar orbit and fly in formation to measure plasma variations.

It seems that SNIPE-C, Justek, and Lumir are having communication troubles and may be lost. Ground controllers are still searching. This launch comes almost one year after the previous launch of a dummy satellite in June, which we wrote about last year.

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