S.Korea’s 1st lunar orbiter mission delayed

The upcoming launch of South Korea’s first lunar orbiter mission will be postponed by at least two days due to additional maintenance of a SpaceX rocket, the Ministry of Science and ICT said Thursday.

The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), also known as Danuri, was initially set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at around 8.20 a.m. on August 2, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The Ministry said SpaceX was in the process of rescheduling the launch to 8.08 a.m. on August 4.

It said SpaceX gave a notification of the delay after “discovering that additional (maintenance) work was needed” while going through the preflight inspection process.

The 678-kg Danuri is currently at the Florida space centre, and is undergoing maintenance and other pre-launch preparations ahead of next week’s launch.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute plans for the orbiter to reach and start circling the moon in December for a yearlong observation mission.

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