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S Korea to launch maritime weather satellite next year
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08:17, November 24, 2008

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South Korea plans to launch a maritime communication and weather satellite into space in June 2009, South Korea's Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said on Sunday.

According to the ministry, the satellite was developed jointly by Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) and France's Astrium. It will be placed in a geo-synchronized orbit over the Korean Peninsula and be tasked with various roles. Astrium has developed the maritime monitoring component of the satellite and the KARI will attach the French-made part to a locally developed satellite before the satellite is launched from French Guiana in South America.

The ministry said that the satellite will be brought into the country on Monday for assembly by KARI.

The 2.5-ton satellite can cover 2,500 square km from a "central point" (130E 36N) west of Pohang on South Korea's east coast and send pictures of plankton growth, information on movement of fishery resources and pollution levels, as well as provide communications services and weather information, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.

The South Korean government said the satellite, which costs a total of 355.8 billion won (236.4 million U.S. dollar), has a life expectancy of seven years.


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