Nearly eight years have passed since South Korea began developing its latest multipurpose satellite, but the fate of the much anticipated project will be determined in just 15 minutes after liftoff, launch organizers said Thursday.
The Arirang 5 satellite was set to be launched at 8:39 p.m. (11:39 p.m. KST) from Russia’s Yasny launch site, some 1,800 kilometers southeast of Moscow, using a Dnepr three-stage rocket converted from Russia‘s conventional intercontinental ballistic missile.
In 9.2 seconds following the initial launch, the first-stage thruster will be ignited, taking the rocket to an altitude of about 58.62 kilometers in just 100 seconds, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute.
The rocket will reach a velocity of 2,861.6 meters per second when its first-stage thruster separates from the rest of the rocket at about 112 seconds after liftoff.
Shortly after, the second-stage thruster will ignite to further propel the rocket for the next 169 seconds to 263.1 kilometers above ground level and to a velocity of 7,179.7 meters per second.
At 279.3 seconds after launch, fairings that enclose the satellite will be separated, and five seconds later the second-stage thruster will separate.
For seven seconds from 289.8 seconds following the rocket’s initial launch, the third-stage thruster will adjust its direction to begin moving toward its target orbit.
At 914.2 seconds after liftoff, the Arirang 5 satellite will be deployed into orbit at an altitude of 549.9 kilometers.
In about 15 minutes following its deployment, the satellite will begin sending signals to earth, to be first detected by the Troll Satellite Station in Antarctica.
The satellite will make its first contact with KARI‘s ground station in South Korea at 5 hours and 56 minutes after its launch or at about 2:35 a.m. (5:35 a.m. KST) Friday. (Yonhap News)