The images, taken between December 24 and January 1, were taken less than 120 kilometers from the lunar surface. The first lunar probe of the South KoreaDanuri, transmitted striking black-and-white photographs of the lunar surface and the Earth, the South Korean space center announced on Tuesday.
Danuri (a contraction of Dalwhich means Moon, and Nuri which means enjoy) took off in August from the UNITED STATES aboard a rocket SpaceX and slotted into lunar orbit in December after an extended flight to save fuel. These photos and videos will be “used to select sites likely to host a moon landing in 2032,” the space center added.
Full orbit every two hours
Danuri performs a complete orbit around the Moon every two hours, the space center said. The orbiter will begin its science mission next month, during which it will map and analyze the lunar surface, and make measurements of magnetic force and gamma rays. It will also test “Space Internet”, an experimental technology, by transmitting photos and videos to Earth.
President Yoon Suk-yeol hailed Danuri’s exploits in December, calling it a “historic moment” in the history of South Korea’s space program. South Korea has outlined ambitious plans for space, including landing a spacecraft on the moon by 2032 and sending it to March of a lander by 2045.