Satellite makes contact with ground station

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Satellite makes contact with ground station

Korea’s new science satellite equipped with an indigenous infrared radar system blasted off from at Russia’s Yasny launch base yesterday and successfully made contact with the ground station in Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning confirmed.

The Science and Technology Satellite 3 (STSAT-3) launched at about 4:10 p.m. local time aboard Dnepr-1 launch vehicle at the Yasny base, where some 70 government officials of the Science Ministry and researchers at Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) anxiously watched the process.

“At 4 p.m. today, the Naro successfully took off. The satellite was deployed 540 seconds after the launch, and data shows the satellite is in the process of entering its target orbit,” Science Minister Lee Ju-ho said in a press conference.

The Russian launcher was designed to send the 170-kilogram (374.8-pound) satellite into orbit 600 kilometers (372.8 miles) above sea level. As of press time it was unknown whether the STSAT-3 had entered into its intended orbit.

This is the first time that a Korean satellite with a homemade radar system took off from the ground. Should the launch prove to be successful, the STSAT-3 will enter a two-year journey, recording data on oceanic and atmospheric changes and natural reactions on Earth’s surface.

The data collected by the satellite will also be used to search for clues pertaining to the universe’s evolution.


BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]

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