South Korea Launches First Moon Mission on SpaceX Rocket - The New York Times

South Korea Launches First Moon Mission on SpaceX Rocket - The New York Times

South Korea Launches First Moon Mission on SpaceX Rocket - The New York Times
Aug 05, 2022 57 secs

When it arrives in lunar orbit, it will join spacecraft from NASA, India and China that are currently exploring Earth’s companion.

Originally known as the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, the mission has now been given the name of Danuri, a portmanteau of the Korean words for “moon” and “enjoy.” It will be South Korea’s first space mission to go beyond low-Earth orbit.

The United States and the Soviet Union sent numerous robotic spacecraft to the moon beginning in the 1960s.

In the past few years, China has sent multiple successful robotic spacecraft, including three landers.

NASA has sent several orbiters there and has enlisted commercial companies to send payloads to the lunar surface in the coming years.

Japan and the European Space Agency have launched moon missions, and India has sent two orbiters to the moon, although a lander accompanying the second orbiter crashed as it descended toward the surface in 2019.

The spacecraft is taking a long, energy-efficient route to the moon.

A small NASA-financed spacecraft, CAPSTONE, is en route to the moon to explore a highly elliptical orbit, where NASA plans to build a lunar outpost for future astronauts.

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