On Tuesday, South Korea’s first lunar space probe, Danuri, successfully entered orbit around Earth’s natural satellite. This was announced by the Ministry of Science and Information and Communication Technologies of the Republic of Korea.
The Moon’s gravity captured the drone in a functional orbit at a distance of one hundred kilometres from the surface, with a margin of error of thirty kilometres. After the first attempt on December 17, it took three lunar orbit insertion (LOI) manoeuvres before it was finally successful.
After completing a total of five rounds of lunar orbit insertion (LOI) manoeuvres, which is the method by which a spacecraft slows down and commits to the Moon’s gravity, it was anticipated that Danuri would attain lunar orbit on Thursday.
According to the government, Danuri arrived at the Moon after travelling to it from Earth for 145 days and is presently orbiting it at 1.62 kilometres per second on a cycle that lasts for two hours. It still has 93 kilogrammes of fuel left to finish its mission in the following year.
In order for the lunar orbiter to carry out its mission on the Moon, it will transition into its primary mode of operation in January 2023.
Beginning in February of the next year, the spacecraft will use six onboard instruments to monitor various aspects of the lunar surface, including the terrain, magnetic strengths, gamma rays, and other features. In addition, the orbiter will investigate potential landing sites on the Moon for use in further exploration missions.
During a press conference to announce the event, the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT, Oh Tae-seog, stated that the research materials from Danuri will make it possible to develop a new lunar lander in 2023 and launch it with its own rocket. This was stated during the press conference. In addition to that, he mentioned that in the long run, South Korea would be preparing initiatives to investigate Mars.
South Korea has become the seventh nation in the world to launch a lunar orbiter to the Moon, the science ministry announced, 30 years after developing its first satellite, KITSAT-1, in 1992 and 10 years after beginning its moon exploration mission in 2012.
South Korea’s first space mission beyond the orbit of Earth Danuri was launched in August on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the state of Florida, located in the United States, in preparation for South Korea’s first journey to the Moon. To this point, it has racked up a total distance of 5.94 million kilometres.