SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's next generation small satellite started its space observation missions after completing its performance checkup, the government said Tuesday.
The Ministry of Science and ICT said the Next Sat-1, launched on Dec. 4, has successfully deployed its solar panels, adjusted its posture and carried out internal checks to see if all systems were functioning normally.
The satellite weighs 100 kilograms and is in orbit 575 kilometers from the surface of the Earth.
"Everything has been checked to be in working order with initial tests utilizing its sensors and camera revealing positive results," the ministry said in a statement.
The Next Sat-1, developed by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and expected to be operation for some two years, is the first locally made satellite to have instruments for the Study of Space Storms (ISSS) that can check the impact of solar storms on the magnetic field of the pole areas.
It can be further used to detect changes to the Earth's ionosphere in low longitude regions.
The ministry said the satellite's near-infrared imaging spectrometer (NISS) camera will be used to peer into space with one of tasks to determine the brightness of the M95 barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Leo.
The satellite showed that South Korea has the ability to make key instruments and components for space vehicles, according to the ministry.
KAIST built the large capacity memory and communication equipment with others, like Asia Pacific Satellite Inc., building star tracking sensors, computers and high speed data processors specifically designed for space.
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