(CTN NEWS) – SEOUL – South Korea’s first Moon mission, ‘Danuri’, which was in a low lunar orbit, captured a rare image of Earth emerging from behind the cratered surface of our natural satellite.
Beautiful black-and-white photographs of Earth were sent back by the Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), sometimes referred to as Danuri.
On Monday, the Korean Aerospace Research Institute made public the two photographs, which were shot on December 24 and 28, respectively.
The pictures depict a sombre Earth in the distance, with the dusty surface of the Moon visible in the foreground. The Moon is frequently visible, rising above Earth from our vantage point.
However, the pictures captured by Danuri from lunar orbit offer an unexpected perspective of our planet shining beneath the Moon’s surface.
Approximately 77 miles (124 kilometers) above the lunar surface is where Danuri took the first image, and about 213 miles (344 kilometres) above is where it took the second.
On August 5, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Danuri lifted off, beginning South Korea’s first deep space mission. The spacecraft finished its initial lunar orbit insertion manoeuvre on December 17 and entered lunar orbit.
The 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) probe is outfitted with four locally made scientific instruments and a NASA camera to record lunar surface images. Danuri will investigate the dark areas of the Moon from its low orbit, which may contain water ice.
Danuri is an orbiter that South Korea launched to further its lunar exploration. It’s purpose is to scout potential landing sites for future lunar missions.
In addition to another orbiter, South Korea plans to launch a lander and a rover for the mission’s second phase.
The photos and videos would be “used to choose potential sites for a Moon landing in 2032.” According to the center, Danuri circles the Moon every two hours.
The Orbitor’s performances have been hailed by President Yoon Suk-yeol as a “historical moment” in the country’s space program.
South Korea has ambitious plans for space travel, including the arrival of rovers on Mars and the Moon by 2045 and 2032, respectively.
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