S Korea to launch weather-communications satellite next year

18:09, November 06, 2009      

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South Korea plans to launch its first weather-communications satellite into space in March, 2010, the country's Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said on Friday.

According to the ministry, the satellite was developed jointly by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and France's Astrium. It will be placed in geostationary orbit 36,000 km from Earth and be equipped with a multi-spectrum camera and sensor array that can help gather high quality ocean meteorological data including typhoons, ocean temperatures, the movement of dust and cloud formations, the ministry said.

The satellite has been assembled in South Korea and will be shipped to Toulouse, France within the month for final performance evaluations before the satellite is launched from Guiana Space Centre, a French spaceport near Kourou in French Guiana in South America, the ministry added.

The ministry said once the satellite, which costs a total of 355.8 billion won (about 304.6 million U.S. dollar) in the last seven year, is put in orbit, the government will be able to receive faster and more accurate weather information and related ocean conditions near the Korean Peninsula.

The satellite, which will also provide communications services, has a life expectancy of seven years, the ministry said.

Source: Xinhua
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