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A South Korean satellite developed for mapping has entered the orbit

The space program of South Korea made another breakthrough after deploying the country’s first Compact Advanced Satellite 500 (CAS500) that creates room for other four satellites in the series. The Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket departed the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying Korea’s CAS500-1 satellite in Kazakhstan, sending the rocket to the sun-synchronous orbit, which is 500km from the Earth’s surface. The rocket then moved to the other orbits, where it launched various satellites.

The Korean satellite is 2.9 meters tall and 1.9 meters in diameter with a weight of 500 kilograms. Since the country has over 12 satellites in space, the CAS500 will be an addition to the space platform that the country is establishing. The satellite is a product of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), which designed it with features meant to make it compatible with other missions. However, the satellite features are unique and cannot be easily identified with other brands due to upgraded systems.

The satellite developers explained that they were trying to integrate these core technologies from the public sector under KARI to the private industry to make the stakeholders knowledgeable about the latest trends in the space industry. The experts added that they are hopeful that the private sector can trust the country’s utilities and source every component of their space facilities locally.

The perfect example that the public sector wants the private industry to imitate is CAS500-1 which had 90% of its components manufactured within the country. This local advocacy by the government will stimulate economic growth and advance the space industry to reach the levels of Europe.

The executives explained that the first two satellites would create a benchmarking platform for online mapping and navigation from which the private sector can learn. However, the images sent to the private entities have a 50 cm monochrome that is slight of low quality compared with the 15 cm resolution images that Google offers.

This setback has made the private sector skeptical of the idea of exploring this technology. The other satellites that will be developed are expected to focus on space satellite imagery quality to compel investors into this business. The video displaying the Soyuz rocket’s departure gives a nice animation of how the satellite will be maneuvering through space. However, this animation’s creators gave a disclaimer that the sound generated when two satellites pass each other is not a real deal and can be eliminated.

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