South Korea’s 1st lunar orbiter ‘Danuri’ set for August launch

Seoul: South Korea said on Monday it has named its first lunar orbiter scheduled to be launched in August — Danuri.

Danuri — a portmanteau of the Korean words for moon and enjoy — was chosen from a national naming contest held from January 26 to February 28.

It was suggested by a doctorate student in new materials engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and was chosen among 62,719 submissions, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.

MS Education Academy

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US state of Florida on August 3 carrying the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, reports Yonhap news agency.

The orbiter will circle around the moon from December and conduct a yearlong mission to observe it using an array of instruments, including cameras and magnetometers. It will also identify potential landing sites for future lunar missions.

South Korea has launched a preliminary feasibility study for the successor to the Nuri rocket, the country’s first homegrown space launch vehicle, with the goal of sending a lunar landing module to the moon in 2031.

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