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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Korea’s first homegrown spy satellite to lift off on Friday

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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket with South Korean reconnaissance satellite mounted is raised for liftoff at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. [MINISTRY OF DEFENSE]
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with South Korean reconnaissance satellite mounted is raised for liftoff at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. [MINISTRY OF DEFENSE]

Korea’s first homegrown reconnaissance satellite, which will be launching from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on SpaceX’s Falcon 9, has been raised on the launching pad.

The Falcon 9 will lift off into orbit carrying the “Korea 425 mission” payload on Friday at 10:19 a.m. Pacific time.

Both the Korean Defense Ministry and Space made the announcement.

The satellite was supposed to be launched on Thursday. However, it had been delayed due to weather conditions.

The first-stage propellant is expected to separate 2 minutes and 22 seconds after liftoff. The protective cover on the satellite will then be separated 20 seconds later.

Once the second propellant is separated, the satellite will enter orbit before communicating with the ground station.

The Korean government plans to launch five reconnaissance satellites by 2025.

The launch comes nearly two weeks after North Korea fired its military reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1 on Nov. 21 from its Sohae Satellite Launching Station at Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan Province.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]