S. Korea's 1st geostationary ocean-weather satellite placed into orbit
[천리안 위성] 발사 성공…천이궤도 진입
South Korea's first geostationary ocean-weather satellite has successfully reached Earth's orbit after being launched from Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, the government said Sunday.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said the Chollian communication, ocean and meteorological satellite (COMS) blasted off from French Guiana on an Ariane 5-ECA rocket at 6:41 a.m. (Korea Time) after encountering minor technical problems on Thursday and Friday that delayed the launch.
The Chollian successfully reached "geostationary transfer orbit" and separated from the second stage rocket roughly 32 minutes after takeoff, the ministry in charge of the country's space program said.
It said the Dongara ground station in Australia established initial contact with the Chollian at 7:19 a.m., indicating that the satellite has reached a correct orbital path. Additional contacts are to be made with ground stations in Hawaii, Italy and Chile for around-the-clock communications uplink with COMS.
First communication with state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) -- in charge of the satellite -- is expected to take place 10 days after liftoff.
A series of tests will be conducted on its onboard equipment in the coming months with communications, maritime observation and weather services to be offered from December.
The ministry said if there are no unforeseen problems, the satellite should start to deploy its solar panels and use its small booster rockets to reach stable orbital altitude of 36,000 kilometers in the next eight days.
It will be in a fixed orbit circling the equator at east longitude 128.2 degrees that can give 24-hour coverage over the Korean Peninsula.
Kim Young-shik, deputy minister of science and technology, said the successful launch of the Chollian marks a milestone in South Korea's space technology development and will positively affect everyday life.
The satellite was built in cooperation with France's EADS Astrium with South Korean engineers from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute playing a key role in its development, design and production.
"The satellite is special because it can offer communication services as well as timely weather and oceanographic information that can benefit peoples' lives," the official said after the launch.
The 2,460-kilogram satellite is the world's first geostationary ocean monitoring satellite that is designed to give the country timely and accurate data in such areas as the movement of tide, ocean temperatures and environmental changes that can be used to better control maritime resources.
The Chollian also makes South Korea the seventh country after the United States, the European Union, Japan, China, India and Russia to operate an independent weather satellite and the 10th to build its own communications satellite.
The science ministry and KARI said the new satellite is designed to send weather and oceanographic data every 15 minutes and can reduce the interval to every 8 minutes in emergency situations such as when a typhoon is approaching the country. At present, Seoul gets its weather information from foreign satellites operated by Japan every 30 minutes.
Seoul spent more than 354.9 billion won (US$295.4 million) and took eight years to build the high-tech satellite that is designed to be in operation for seven years.
The blastoff, meanwhile, was postponed several days because engineers from France's Arianespace SA, which built the rocket and is responsible for the launch, detected a "launch vehicle pressurization anomaly" prior to blastoff. The glitch was centered on the liquid fuel, cryogenic first stage booster that lifts the rocket and satellite payload into space.
Originally, the liftoff for the Ariane rocket was set for Thursday at 6:41 a.m., but was pushed back a full day, before being rescheduled for Sunday morning after Arianespace engineers fixed the problem.
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호주 지상국과 첫 교신..2주후 정지궤도 안착
앞으로 7년간 통신.해양.기상서비스 임무수행
국내 연구개발에 의해 제작된 첫 정지궤도 위성인 천리안 위성이 남미 프랑스령 가이아나우주센터에서 성공적으로 발사됐다.
천리안 위성은 27일 오전 6시 41분(현지시각 26일 오후 6시 41분) 가이아나우주센터에서 프랑스 아리안스페이스(Arianespace)사의 아리안-5ECA 발사체에 실려 우주로 쏘아올려졌다.
2003년 9월 개발에 착수된 지 9년 7개월만이다.
발사 후 189.2초가 지나 위성을 보호하는 덮개인 페어링이 분리됐으며 천리안 위성은 발사 24분 38초 후 지구와 가깝게는 251.1㎞, 멀게는 3만5천857.2㎞의 타원궤도인 천이궤도에 진입했다.
위성은 발사 32분 38초 후 2천5.3㎞ 고도에서 발사체로부터 분리됐으며 이때부터 위성에 탑재된 컴퓨터의 자동 프로그램이 작동하고 위성 초기화가 이뤄졌다.
이후 발사 38분만인 오전 7시 19분 호주 동가라(Dongara) 지상국과의 첫 교신도 성공적으로 이뤄졌다.
교신 결과 위성의 전력상태와 내.외부 장비의 온도, 탑재체들의 상태, 위성의 자세 등도 모두 양호한 것으로 확인됐다.한글 기사 보기