S. Korea’s lunar orbiter Danuri starts process to enter moon orbit

SEOUL, South Korea’s first lunar orbiter Danuri started entering the orbit of the moon Saturday, 135 days after its launch, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said.

The unmanned space vehicle carried out its first lunar orbit insertion (LOI) maneuver at 2:45 a.m., KARI said, as part of five rounds of such maneuvers in the coming days for Danuri to be captured in the lunar orbit on Dec. 29.

In the first maneuver, KARI researchers used Danuri’s thrusters for about 13 minutes to slow its speed down from about 8,000 kilometers per hour to 7,500 kph. The result will be announced Monday after analysis.

The second maneuver is planned for Wednesday.

Danuri, also known as the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, was launched on Aug. 5 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida for South Korea’s first lunar mission. It has traveled a cumulative 5.94 million km so far.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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