Seoul: South Korea said on Monday it has named its first lunar orbiter scheduled to be launched in August — Danuri.
Danuri — a portmanteau of the Korean words for moon and enjoy — was chosen from a national naming contest held from January 26 to February 28. It was suggested by a doctorate student in new materials engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and was chosen among 62,719 submissions, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the US state of Florida on August 3 carrying the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, reports Yonhap news agency.
The orbiter will circle around the moon from December and conduct a yearlong mission to observe it using an array of instruments, including cameras and magnetometers. It will also identify potential landing sites for future lunar missions.
South Korea has launched a preliminary feasibility study for the successor to the Nuri rocket, the country’s first homegrown space launch vehicle, with the goal of sending a lunar landing module to the moon in 2031. —IANS