Seoul, Jun 22 (EFE).- South Korea on Wednesday confirmed that a satellite put into its orbit by homegrown rocket Nuri was functioning correctly, substantiating the space launch vehicle’s capability to deploy low-earth orbit satellites.
The South Korean ministry of science reported that the performance verification satellite launched on Tuesday through Nuri, had established two-way communication with the ground station at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in Daejeon, 160 kilometers south of Seoul, at 3:01 a.m. Wednesday.
Thus, KARI confirmed that that the satellite – which was designed to verify the mission performance and contains four small research satellites, to be deployed over the next few days – has been functioning correctly and was physically intact.
Nuri, a rocket that runs on liquid fuel and cost Seoul nearly $1.8 billion for its development, also carried a dummy satellite weighing 1.3 tons.
The successful test makes South Korea one of the 10 countries capable of developing and launching its own spacecraft and also one of the seven capable of putting satellites weighing more than 1 ton into orbit, along with Russia, the United States, France, Japan, China and India.
With Nuri, Seoul also hopes, among other things, to improve its ability to put better surveillance satellites into orbit that allow it to spy on North Korea, even as military tensions have risen in the peninsula as well as across Asia in general. EFE