This weekend South Korea joined the race to the moon with the launch of an orbiter that will search for future landing sites. It is a satellite launched by SpaceX that will travel a long and indirect path to conserve fuel, and will arrive at its destination in December.
In case of success, will join US and Indian spacecraft already operating around the Moonas well as a Chinese probe exploring the dark side of the satellite.
Meanwhile, India, Russia and Japan will also launch lunar missions later this year or next., as well as a number of private companies from the United States and other nations. In addition, NASA will present its giant lunar rocket at the end of August.
South Korea prioritizes its trip to the Moon
The South Korean mission, the country’s first $180 million step in lunar exploration, features a solar-powered satellite designed to orbit just 100 kilometers above the lunar surface. Scientists expect it to collect geological and other data for at least a year from its low polar orbit.
It is the second South Korean space attempt in a span of six weeks.
In June, South Korea successfully launched a six-satellite package into orbit from Earth, using its own rocket for the first time. A first attempt late last year failed after the test satellite failed to reach orbit.
We recommend you read:
In May, South Korea joined a NASA-led coalition to explore the Moon with astronauts in the coming years and decades. NASA is targeting later this month for the first launch of its Artemis program. The goal is to send an unmanned capsule around the Moon and back to test systems before making a manned launch in two years.