South Korea celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first step into space adventure. On 11 August 1992 he managed to launch his first satellite called “Wooribyul-1” (KITSAT-1) which means “Our No.1 star” aboard the Ariane rocket on the Kourou space base in French Guiana.
Wooribyul-1 was developed by the satellite technology research center (SatRec), linked to KAIST, the Korean Institute of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the British University of Surrey. It is a small satellite that weighs 48.6 kg and measures 35.2 cm in width, 35.6 cm in length and 67 cm in height. At an altitude of 1,300 km, it makes a complete revolution of the Earth every 110 minutes. Its mission? It films the surface of our planet, communicates voice and videographic data, among others. Its launch set the stage for South Korean space science. Then the Land of Morning Light launched “Wooribyul-2” of its own technology in September 1993 and “Wooribyul-3” weighing 100 kg in May 1999.
South Korea continued its adventure by launching its first telecommunications satellite called “Mugunghwa” (KOREASAT-1) in 1995, the multi-purpose “Arirang” (KOMPSAT-1) four years later and astronomical observation (STSAT-1) ) in 2003 Furthermore, with “Chollian” released in 2010, it became the seventh country to have its own meteorological satellite and the first nation in the world to have a geostationary satellite for maritime observation. But these devices were all carried by a foreign rocket.
In 2013 a new step was taken. South Korea has successfully launched its first “Naro-1” rocket developed in collaboration with Russia. Last June it managed to orbit a 162.5 kg performance verification satellite and a 1.3 ton dummy satellite aboard its “Nuri” rocket (KSLV-II) with 100% “made” technologies. in Korea “. It thus became the 7th nation with this autonomous capability. Finally, on August 5, it managed to launch its first KPLO lunar probe, more commonly known as “Danuri”, from the United States. It is the seventh country to take up such a challenge.
Wooribyul-1 has been in operation for 12 years. It secured its last communication with the ground station in August 2004. Out of order, it is still navigating its geostationary orbit. KAIST’s SatRec plans to re-enter the atmosphere to retrieve it. It will be an opportunity to test key technologies in space exploration, such as orbit correction, interplanetary dating, close flight, and also to develop the know-how needed to get rid of space junk.