February 1, 2023

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The Earth and the Moon in Danori’s first photographs. South Korea is chasing space powers

Although when we think of space powers, we think of the United States, China, or Russia (and more recently India too) rather than South Korea, this may change soon, because The plans of this country for the coming years are very ambitious (they even include landing on the Moon in 2032 and on Mars in 2045). The authorities decided to pour billions of dollars into this sector, and as recent events show, the money was not thrown away.

A few days ago, we learned about the successful tests of the carrier rocket, and now Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI)which is the National Space Agency, Split Images of the Earth and Moon taken by South Korea’s first lunar orbiter, the Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, known as Danori. (The name is a combination of the Korean words for “moon” and “joy”). The vehicle flew into space in August 2022 aboard a SpaceX rocket and entered lunar orbit last month.

Since then, Danuri has been approaching the surface of our natural satellite in order to collect as much information as possible, prof On December 24, 2022 – January 1, 2023, he took a series of black and white photos, which show not only the surface of the Moon, but also the Earth (The first visible image in the post was taken on December 24 from a distance of 344 km, and the second on December 28 from a distance of 124 km).

As we can read in KARI’s official statement, the images and recordings taken “will be used to identify possible landing sites on the Moon in 2032.” However, what is worth emphasizing is still the Danuri test phase, since the orbiter will begin its science mission – assuming, among other things, that Mapping and analyzing lunar topography, measuring the magnetic field and gamma rays – Not until next month.

Interestingly, Danuri will also be auditioning Experimental technology of the “cosmic Internet”, which allows not only to transmit images and recordings to Earth, but also … interplanetary broadcasts, It is a test of their suitability and reliability for future missions.

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