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S. Korea to launch mid-sized observation satellite in March

South Korean researchers test the country’s new mid-sized satellite that will be launched on March 20, from Kazakhstan. (Yonhap)
South Korean researchers test the country’s new mid-sized satellite that will be launched on March 20, from Kazakhstan. (Yonhap)

South Korea’s ICT Ministry said Friday it has dispatched the country’s new mid-sized satellite to Kazakhstan for a March launch.

The 500-kilogram low Earth orbit satellite will arrive at Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome on Sunday, where it will go through a series of steps before the March 20 launch, according to the ministry.

From there, the mid-sized satellite will be flown into a 500-kilometer-high orbit by a Russian Soyuz rocket.

When in orbit, the satellite, which is equipped with a homegrown imaging sensor system, will start sending high-precision observation videos of the Earth from June this year. The videos will be used to better observe land and water resources and help counter natural disasters.

For this project, the government has set aside a total of 157.9 billion won ($143.8 million) budget since 2015.

As part of a governmental plan to nurture the local space industry, the state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute will cooperate with private companies to develop four more mid-sized satellite by 2025, the ministry added.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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