South Korea's first lunar orbiter successfully launched, beginning a year-long mission to observe the Moon.
Danuri, a portmanteau of the Korean words for Moon and enjoy, was launched by Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
It hopes to reach the Moon by mid-December.
South Korea's first lunar orbiter Danuri' left for space at 8: 08 am on August 5, 2022, Seoul's science ministry said on Twitter, sharing a video of the rocket blasting off, trailing a huge column of smoke and flames.
Danuri will be the first step towards the Moon and the farther universe, according to the country's ambitious space program, which includes plans for a Moon mission by 2030.
SpaceX said that the launch had been a success.
The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter is the official name of the KPLO, which was confirmed by the deployment of the KPLO.
During its mission, Danuri will use six different instruments, including a highly sensitive camera provided by NASA, to conduct research. There will be research on the lunar surface to identify potential landing sites.
One of the instruments will be designed to evaluate disruption-tolerant, network-based space communications, which, according to South Korea's science ministry, is a world first.
BTS song to be played to test wireless link.
Danuri hopes to create a wireless internet environment to link satellites or exploration spacecraft.
The lunar orbiter will stream the song Dynamite, by K-pop boy band BTS, to test this wireless network.
Another instrument, ShadowCam, will record images of the permanently shaded regions around the poles of the Moon, where no sunlight can reach.
Scientists hope that Danuri will find hidden sources of water and ice in areas of the moon, including the permanently dark and cold regions near the poles.
The launch of the Korean space exploration is a very important milestone in the history of Korean space exploration, Lee Sang-ryool, head of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, said in a video shown before the launch.
Danuri will be able to reach Mars, asteroids, and so on in the near future, if we are more determined and committed to technology development for space travel. South Korean scientists say Danuri will pave the way for the nation's more ambitious goal of landing on the Moon by 2030, because it took seven years to build.
South Korea will become the seventh country in the world to launch an unmanned probe to the Moon, an official at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute told AFP.
We hope to continue contributing to the global understanding of the Moon with what Danuri is going to find out. Danuri was launched by a private company SpaceX, but South Korea recently became one of a handful of countries to launch a one-tonne payload using its own rockets.
In June, the country's homegrown three-stage rocket nicknamed Nuri — a decade in development at a cost of 2 trillion won $2.2 billion — successfully launched and put a satellite into orbit.
It was its second attempt. Asia, China, Japan and India all have advanced space programs, and the South's nuclear-armed neighbour, North Korea, has demonstrated satellite-launch capability.
Similar technology is used in ballistic missiles and space rockets. Pyongyang put a 300 kilogram satellite into orbit in 2012, which Washington condemned as a disguised missile test.