By Lee Jihae
A next-generation mid-size satellite independently developed by Korea was launched on March 22.
The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said, "The CAS500-1 (Compact Advanced Satellite 500-1) was successfully launched at 3:07 p.m. this afternoon (Korean Standard Time and 11:07 a.m. Kazak Standard Time) at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan."
The satellite was loaded on the Russian projectile Soyuz 2.1a when launched. It made its first communication with a ground station within 102 minutes after liftoff and safely entered its target orbit.
The CAS500-1 was developed to utilize the 500-kg mid-size "standard platform" by its supervisory body Korea Aerospace Research Institute. Korean aerospace companies also participated in the satellite's independent technological development.
The launch came six years after the satellite's development began in 2015.
The CAS500-1 is slated to remain in a synchronous orbit around the sun for six months at an altitude of 497.8 km. From October, it will provide detailed ground observation videos of the Korean Peninsula for use in responding to disasters, observing water resources, and managing land and resources.
Minister of Science and ICT Choi Kiyoung said, "This launch has laid the cornerstone for boosting the satellite industry and thus sent a flare signaling the 'K-satellite era,'" adding, "It is significant that science and technology have greatly contributed to enhancing the people's quality of life and offering hope during the difficult COVID-19 era."