Saturday, June 22, 2024

S.Korea successfully launches 1st spy satellite into orbit

South Korea successfully launched its first indigenous military spy satellite from a US military base in California, in a culmination of Seoul’s quest for space-based intelligence capabilities amid growing North Korean threats, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday.

The launch of the satellite atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Friday came after Pyongyang claimed success in its own spy satellite launch last week — a move that underscored a growing inter-Korean security rivalry, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The Ministry said the satellite was placed in orbit approximately four minutes after launch at 10.19 a.m., and succeeded in communicating with a ground station at 11.37 a.m., which means it is operating normally.

Beginning with an electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) satellite, South Korea plans to send four more synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites into space by 2025 to better monitor North Korea.

The plan is expected to heat up a space arms race between the two Koreas as North Korea sent its first spy satellite in orbit on November 21 following two failed attempts earlier this year and vowed to launch more in a short span of time.



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