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Korea set to launch space observation satellite

South Korea is set to launch its first space observation satellite equipped with infrared light captors on Nov. 21, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said Wednesday.

The Science and Technology Satellite-3, or STSAT-3, which has been in development since 2006, has completed final tests and is now ready for launch from the Yasny base in Russia.

It will share a Dnepr-1 rocket vehicle with about 20 other satellites, including Korean import DubaiSat-2 satellite. The final countdown is scheduled for 16:10 p.m., Korea time, the ministry said.

It is equipped with a Multi-purpose IR Imaging System for surveying our galaxy and measuring surface temperature changes on Earth. The STSAT-3 satellite would provide valuable data in the areas of space science study and core satellite technologies.

If the launch is successful, the satellite will begin operating after a three-month test period for two years at an altitude of about 600 kilometers in a sun-synchronous orbit.