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S. Korea's 1st lunar orbiter mission to be delayed amid SpaceX rocket maintenance issue

All News 11:24 July 28, 2022

SEOUL, July 28 (Yonhap) -- The upcoming launch of South Korea's first lunar orbiter mission will be postponed by at least two days due to additional maintenance of a SpaceX rocket, the Ministry of Science and ICT said Thursday.

The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) -- also known as Danuri -- was initially set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, United States, at around 8:20 a.m. next Wednesday (Korean time).

The ministry said SpaceX was in the process of rescheduling the launch to 8:08 a.m. Friday (Korean time).

It said SpaceX gave a notification of the delay after "discovering that additional (maintenance) work was needed" while going through the preflight inspection process.

The 678-kilogram Danuri is currently at the Florida space center, and is undergoing maintenance and other pre-launch preparations ahead of next week's launch.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute plans for the orbiter to reach and start circling the moon in December for a yearlong observation mission.

This file photo provided by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute in Daejeon on June 6, 2022, shows aerospace engineers inspecting Danuri, South Korea's first lunar orbiter scheduled to be launched into space in early August from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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