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South Korea Launches First Lunar Orbiter as Space Bid Gathers Pace

SEOUL—South Korea launched its first lunar orbiter on Friday as it doubles down on its space programs, aiming to land a probe on the moon by 2030.
The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, nicknamed Danuri, meaning “enjoy the Moon,” was launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral U.S. Space Force Station at 8:08 a.m. on Friday (23:08 GMT on Thursday), South Korea’s science ministry said.
The 678 kg (1,495 lb) Danuri separated from the projectile about 40 minutes after launch and began communicating with a ground station around 9:40 a.m.
“Analysis of the received information confirmed … Danuri was operating normally,” Vice Science Minister Oh Tae-seog told a briefing, announcing that the orbiter had established a trajectory toward the moon….

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