SpaceX launches South Korea’s first-ever moon mission, lands rocket at sea


“The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) lifted off today (Aug. 4) atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, kicking off South Korea’s first-ever deep-space mission and setting the stage for more ambitious moon efforts down the road. KPLO, also known as Danuri, ‘will be the first step for ensuring and verifying [South Korea’s] capability of space exploration,’ officials with the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), which is managing the mission, said in a statement. … The Falcon 9 rose off a pad at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station today at 7:08 p.m. EDT (2308 GMT). The rocket’s two stages separated 2.5 minutes after launch and went their separate ways. The first stage came down for a pinpoint landing on the SpaceX droneship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ nine minutes after liftoff. It was the sixth touchdown to date for the veteran booster, SpaceX said in a mission description.” (08/04/22)