(Image credit- Current Affairs)
AP — SEOUL, South Korea As part of its expanding space development program, South Korea successfully launched a commercial-grade satellite for the first time on Thursday. This comes as neighboring North Korea works to send its first military surveillance satellite into orbit.
Since they are nominally at war, the two Koreas are keen to acquire each other’s military reconnaissance satellites. Its ambitions to create a space-based monitoring system will probably benefit from the South Korean launch on Thursday.
Eight satellites were carried by the three-stage Nuri rocket, which was made in the country and launched from a launch site on a southern island. One of the satellites was a key commercial-grade satellite with the task of observing cosmic rays and testing radar imaging technologies.
The findings of the launch were scheduled to be announced later on Thursday by South Korean officials. It would increase South Korea’s chances of catching up to Asian rivals like China, Japan, and India in a regional space competition if it were to be successful.
According to several observers, the launch will also aid South Korea in acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to operate military spy satellites and construct long-range missiles.
Due to a technical issue, the launch that was previously planned for Wednesday was abruptly postponed.
South Korea became the tenth country in the world to launch a satellite into orbit using its own technology last year when it used a Nuri rocket to launch a “performance verification satellite” into orbit. But the main purpose of that launch was to evaluate the rocket.
Also read: North Korea plans to launch a test flight of its ‘spy satellite’ by 2023
Later this year, South Korea is anticipated to launch its first spy satellite. In order to keep an eye on North Korean facilities, it now uses American spy satellites.