South Korea sends its first lunar probe into space – the one K-Pop. plays
South Korea plans to land on the moon in the coming years. As an important step, the country is sending a probe. Danuri is to explore Earth’s satellite – and play the K-pop hit “Dynamite”.
As part of its plans for space exploration, South Korea has sent its own lunar probe into space for the first time: A “Falcon-9” rocket from Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX is on Thursday evening (local time) with the test lunar probe “Korea Pathfinder” on. aboard the Cape Canaveral Cosmodrome in the US state of Florida.
After a four-and-a-half-month journey through space, the orbiter – also known as Danuri – will orbit the moon and from there explore the moon with six instruments during its one-year mission.
Among other things, it is necessary to look for possible landing sites for future moon missions. Danuri – an artificial word formed from the South Korean words for “moon” and “enjoy” – is also supposed to enable a wireless Internet network to connect satellites or spacecraft. To test the connection, the hit “Dynamite” by the K-pop band BTS is streamed.
“Important milestone in the history of South Korean space exploration”
South Korea’s Deputy Science Minister Oh Tae Seok announced on Friday that Danuri has already “successfully” reached Earth orbit en route to the moon. Scientists have established a communications link to the probe through an antenna of the US space agency NASA in Canberra, Australia. Danuri’s solar panel has been duly deployed and can “start generating electricity,” the minister said.
“This is a very important milestone in the history of space exploration in South Korea,” Lee Sang-ryool, president of the South Korean Space Research Institute, said in a video about the Danuri launch. “Danuri is just the beginning.” It is also possible to reach Mars and asteroids in the “near future”.
The project, including the development of an unmanned space vehicle, is the result of collaboration between the Korean Space Research Institute (Kari) and other institutes in South Korea, as well as the US space agency NASA.
South Korea wants to land on the moon in 2031
One of the goals of space exploration plans is to land on the moon by 2031. It has not yet been announced whether an unmanned landing with a robot will take place.
South Korea has an ambitious space program. By June, according to its own statements, it had successfully launched civilian-use satellites into orbit with a home-built launch vehicle. The country is also a signatory to NASA’s Artemis program for cooperation in space. The plan is to send people to destinations like the Moon and Mars with a fully reusable take-off and landing system. In Asia, China, Japan and India already have advanced space programs.