South Korea successfully launched its first military communication satellite into space Monday, US time, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration said Tuesday.
On the Falcon 9 rocket developed by US space firm Space X, the Anasis-II satellite lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:30 p.m. local time. After separating from the rocket, it tested for ground communication at 7:19 p.m., the arms procurement agency said.
The latest launch has made Korea the 10th country in the world to operate a communication satellite for the military, the agency added.
“With Anasis-II put into space, South Korea from now on can manage a communication satellite solely dedicated to military use, replacing the previous Anasis-I satellite that carried out both civilian and military operations,” DAPA said in a release.
In October, the Korean military will take over the satellite operation, after seeing that it enters a geostationary orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers, and having it tested by manufacturer Airbus Defense and Space to see if the satellite functions as programmed.
Airbus was the subcontracted manufacturer who provided the satellite technologies to Korea as part of Korea’s deal with prime US defense contractor Lockheed Martin, from which it purchased 40 F-35A fighter jets.
The satellite is based on the Airbus Eurostar E3000 satellite platform and will provide “secured communications over wide coverage,” according to the manufacturer. Other detailed features were not known.
Anasis-II was originally scheduled to blast off in early July, but the launch was put off due to inspections of the equipment.
By Choi Si-young & news reports (firstname.lastname@example.org