Space travel: South Korea joins rush for moon

South Korea has launched its own lunar probe for the first time in the country's history.

Space travel: South Korea joins rush for moon

South Korea has launched its own lunar probe for the first time in the country's history.

A "Falcon-9" rocket from Elon Musk's private space company SpaceX took off as planned from Cape Canaveral in the US state of Florida with the test lunar orbiter "Korea Pathfinder" on board. SpaceX broadcast the launch.

After a journey of four and a half months through space, the orbiter is to orbit the moon and from there collect data from the surface of the earth's satellite. The project, including the development of an unmanned space vehicle and the construction of a ground station, is the result of cooperation between the Korean State Space Research Institute (Kari) and other institutes in South Korea, as well as the US space agency Nasa.

South Korea has an ambitious space program. In June, according to its own statements, it had successfully launched satellites for civilian use into orbit with a self-built launch vehicle. The country is also a signatory to NASA's Artemis program, which aims to put humans back on the moon.

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