South Korea Launches Its First Moon Mission

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Seoul: South Korea has launched its first mission to the moon as its homegrown lunar orbiter took off from ape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral.

The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, nicknamed Danuri, lifted off from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral.

A live broadcast of the launch on Friday morning in South Korea showed the orbiter “Danuri” — which means “enjoy the moon” — successfully separating from the Falcon 9 rocket.

This is the first lunar mission by South Korea, which recently developed a space rocket launch capability.

The lunar mission has been jointly developed by Nasa and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).

Danuri features a boxy, solar-powered satellite designed to skim just 62 miles (100 kilometers) above the lunar surface, during which it will collect geologic and other data for at least a year from this low polar orbit.

The spacecraft is taking a long, roundabout path to the Moon in order to conserve fuel and will arrive at its destination in mid-December. If successful, the spacecraft will join India’s Chandrayaan-2 and Nasa’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) around Earth’s natural satellite as new missions make a beeline for the Moon.

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