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South Korea's lunar orbiter unveils jaw-dropping images of Earth and the moon - Livescience.com

South Korea's lunar orbiter unveils jaw-dropping images of Earth and the moon - Livescience.com

South Korea's lunar orbiter unveils jaw-dropping images of Earth and the moon - Livescience.com
Jan 24, 2023 56 secs

The images, which were posted to the Korean Aerospace Research Institute(opens in new tab) (KARI) website, show a variety of lunar landscapes, including two jaw-dropping black-and-white images of an enormous Earth rising over the moon's crater-studded horizon, and a time-lapse image of the moon's orbit around Earth taken over several hours.

The KPLO — also named Danuri, a combination of the Korean words "dal," meaning moon, and "nuri," meaning enjoy, according to NASA(opens in new tab) — is South Korea's first exploratory space mission to leave Earth orbit, and is a joint project co-managed by KARI and NASA.

The orbiter launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Aug. 4, 2022.

Danuri's findings may help NASA plan the next stages of the agency's ongoing Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the lunar surface and establish a permanent base there by 2025.

Later in its mission, Danuri will study the dark interiors of craters like those seen in the foreground, to see if there's any evidence of water ice there.

(Image credit: KARI)Earth, as seen by Danuri as it neared its lunar orbit in November 2022.

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