Only one week left until the launch of the South Korea’s first lunar mission. The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbitereither KPLO In short, it’s scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket next Tuesday (Aug. 2).
The mission is seen as the first step in South Korea’s ambitious deep space agenda, which also includes a robotic moon landing by 2030 and an asteroid sample return mission.
South Korea’s lunar orbiter will carry a total of six payloads
As we mentioned in AmericanPost.NewsIn May this year, South Korea’s lunar orbiter was officially named “Danuri,” a combination of two Korean words meaning “moon” and “enjoy.”
The test lunar orbiter will carry a total of six payloads. Five were developed by Korean universities and research organizations, including the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), and the other is from NASA.
The six experiments are the Lunar Terrain Imager (LUTI), the Wide Angle Polarimetric Camera (PolCam), a magnetometer called KMAG, a gamma ray spectrometer known as KGRS, the Disruption Tolerant Network Experiment Payload (DTNPL) and a high-sensitivity NASA-funded camera called ShadowCam.
It may interest you: NASA will launch the first Artemis mission to the Moon
What is South Korea looking for with its first lunar mission?
Danuri will circle the moon for at least a year, if all goes according to plan. The orbiter’s key tasks will be to measure the magnetic force on the moon’s surface and assess lunar resources such as water ice, uranium, helium-3, silicon and aluminum, as well as generate a topographic map to help pinpoint the future. lunar landing sites.
It will take a while for the probe to reach the moon after the Falcon 9 launch; Danuri will use a ballistic lunar transfer pathway, eventually reaching lunar orbit in mid-December.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute, which is based in Daejeon, provided NASA with about 33 pounds (15 kilograms) of payload mass on the orbiter.
In September 2016, NASA issued a request seeking scientific instruments designed to improve understanding of the distribution of volatiles such as water, including the movement of such resources to lunar permanent shadow regions (PSRs) and how they get trapped there. .
The result was NASA’s selection of ShadowCam, an instrument developed by Arizona State University and San Diego-based Malin Space Science Systems.
ShadowCam will acquire images of the shadowed regions of the moon using a high-resolution camera, a telescope, and high-sensitivity sensors.
The instrument’s optical camera is based on the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). NAC has been producing images of the moon for more than 13 years, but KPLO’s new camera is much more sensitive.
Follow us on Google News, Facebook and Twitter to stay informed with today’s news!
Follow us on our Instagram account