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S. Korea's 2nd spy satellite makes contact with local ground station

By Yonhap

Published : April 9, 2024 - 11:41

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This photo taken on Sunday shows a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket ahead of the launch of South Korea's second spy satellite at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (The defense ministry) This photo taken on Sunday shows a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket ahead of the launch of South Korea's second spy satellite at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (The defense ministry)

South Korea's second military reconnaissance satellite launched into space this week has made contact with a ground station in the country and is undergoing initial operations normally, the defense ministry said Tuesday.

The satellite successfully entered orbit after being launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida at 8:17 a.m. Monday. It succeeded in communicating with an overseas ground station hours after lift-off.

"Our second military reconnaissance satellite has currently entered its target orbit and is normally undergoing various inspections and relevant procedures for initial operations," Jeon Ha-kyou, the ministry's spokesperson, told reporters in a briefing.

Jeon said the satellite began communications with the South Korean ground station at 5:53 p.m. and reached a level of initial optimization as desired through multiple communications.

The launch marks the latest progress in South Korea's push to acquire five military spy satellites by 2025 to bolster its monitoring capabilities of North Korea after its first satellite launch last December.

The latest satellite is fitted with synthetic aperture radar sensors that are capable of collecting data regardless of weather conditions, compared with the first one equipped with electro-optical and infrared sensors.

It will undergo various operational testing and evaluation for a number of months before it enters its full-mission phase. (Yonhap)