- July 18, 2006
- Posted by: EARSC
- Categories: Archive, Internationalization
by Staff Writers- Seoul, South Korea (SPX) Jul 18, 2006
South Korea plans to launch a satellite for geographical updates, natural resource searches and environmental observation from a Russian spaceport late this month, government officials have announced.
The multipurpose Arirang 2 satellite is scheduled to lift off July 28 from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) northeast of Moscow, the Ministry of Science and Technology said.
The launch previously had been scheduled for last November, but it had to be delayed due to technical problems. The satellite is expected to give the country the ability to take high-resolution pictures of Earth’s surface. It will be placed in a 685-kilometer (425-mile) orbit by a Russian rocket, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The new satellite is equipped with a high-resolution multi-spectral camera jointly developed by a local firm and Electro Optical Industries Ltd. of Israel. Its spatial resolution is one square meter.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute shipped the satellite to Russia on June 20. South Korean and Russian technicians have conducted last-minute checks in preparation for the launch, Yonhap reported.
The satellite is scheduled to be launched shortly after 4 p.m. Korea Time and be separated from the booster rocket 48 minutes later. It is expected to first make contact with Malindi satellite station in Kenya 80 minutes after the liftoff, and send signals to the KARI’s main control facility in Daejeon around 11 p.m. the same day.
Experts say it will take one or two days to know for certain if the satellite has entered the correct orbit, Yonhap reported.
Reflecting the satellite’s capability to take high-definition photographs, the KARI has signed a $27 million deal with France’s Spot Image Co. to provide pictures taken during the satellite’s expected three-year operational lifetime.
Officials at South Korea’s Science Ministry said the agency plans to develop the technology acquired from Arirang 2 for the more advanced Arirang 3, tentatively scheduled for launch after 2009, Yonhap reported.
If the new satellite launches successfully, it will become the ninth South Korean satellite in orbit.
Source: Korean Press Agency