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Korea set to launch first radar observation satellite

South Korea is set to launch its first radar-equipped Earth observation satellite as planned on Aug. 22, the government announced on Thursday.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said that the satellite KOMPSAT-5 was moved Thursday to the Yasny launch base in Russia.

The KOMPSAT-5 is the country’s first SAR, or synthetic aperture radar, satellite that is capable of providing images in all weather conditions.

The ministry said the SAR satellite would eliminate the limitations of traditional satellites, such as monitoring flooding under heavy clouds.

If the launch is successful, the satellite will begin operating after a six-month test period in February 2014 at an altitude of 550 km in a dawn-dusk orbit.