Completed installation of NASA high-precision camera domestically developed lunar orbiter… Scheduled to launch in August next year

[세종=뉴스핌] Reporter Kyung-tae Lee = A high-precision rover camera from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was installed on the lunar orbiter developed with domestic technology. The lunar orbiter, which will be launched in August next year, is expected to enable South Korea and the United States to accurately probe the unknown surface of the moon hidden in the shadow of the sun.

The Ministry of Science and ICT announced on the 30th that the installation of the ShadowCam developed by NASA has been completed on the lunar orbiter, which is being developed in Korea with the aim of launching in August next year.

NASA science payload shadow cam [자료=과학기술정보통신부] 2021.08.30 [email protected]

NASA’s Shadow Cam is a high-precision camera made and provided by the United States that takes pictures of permanently shaded areas where sunlight does not reach, such as craters located in the north and south poles of the moon.

Through the agreement of the US-Korea summit in May, Korea signed the ‘Artemis Agreement’ to participate in the ‘Artemis Program’, an international cooperation project for the US-led manned lunar exploration.

The Artemis program is a program with a challenging goal of sending astronauts to the moon by 2024 and building a sustainable manned base on the moon by 2028 with the participation of 12 countries including Korea.

This agreement is an opportunity for Korea to expand practical cooperation with the United States, an advanced country in lunar exploration.

The key to lunar exploration cooperation with NASA is not only to receive the deep space navigation technology and deep space communication technology that the United States has strengths in, but also to find an appropriate landing site for NASA’s manned lunar exploration in the future.

The lunar orbiter, which is being developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute through Korea’s lunar exploration project, will orbit the moon for one year and perform lunar exploration missions, while securing and verifying space exploration-based technology.

For lunar exploration, communication technology for exchanging information from a distant place along with navigation technology to send a lunar orbiter into lunar orbit is essential, and this technology is provided free of charge by NASA.

Korea supports the Artemis program by measuring the presence of water or resources and topographical characteristics through ShadowCam targeting NASA’s 2024 lunar manned landing sites.

Korea’s lunar exploration project will complete the assembly of the lunar orbiter by October, undergo environmental testing and final inspection, and then land on the lunar orbit through SpaceX’s launch vehicle in August next year.

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