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S. Korea launches first independent military satellite

South Korea launches its first independent military communication satellite, Anasis-II, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on July 20, 2020. (Defense Acquisition and Program Administration)
South Korea launches its first independent military communication satellite, Anasis-II, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on July 20, 2020. (Defense Acquisition and Program Administration)
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 can now manage a communication satellite solely dedicated to the military, unlike the previous Anasis-I satellite that was used for both the military and private sector,” the DAPA said in a release.

In October, the Korean military will take over the satellite operation, after making sure 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 US defense contractor Lockheed Martin, from which it purchased 40 F-35A fighter jets.

Anasis-II, which is based on the Airbus Eurostar E3000 satellite platform, was originally scheduled to blast off in early July, but the launch was put off due to equipment inspections.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)
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