When the probe left for the US for launch in early July, long lines of people loomed over it. “Everyone here is very happy and excited,” said planetary geologist Kyung Ja Kim, who was involved in the mission, of that moment. against trade magazine temper nature.
The Danury probe, as the probe is also known, carries five scientific instruments, including a camera that can view the lunar surface in polarized light, so that it can determine the size and density of dust and rocks on the moon. The probe also has a camera specifically designed to take pictures of areas of the moon that are not exposed to direct sunlight.
Thursday’s launch marks the second time this year that a mission to the moon has departed. Earlier, an American probe called Capstone flew towards our cosmic companion. It is an orbit test of a planned future space station near the Moon.
The launches are the first two kicks to what promises to be a totally crazy lunar year. For example, NASA is expected to launch its first Artemis mission this year, an unmanned test mission for the future return of humans to the lunar surface. In addition, there will be about a dozen more missions on the books next year, from various companies, and from countries such as Russia, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and India (beginning in 2023).
The goals are not always by any means purely scientific. A successful lunar mission is above all a matter of technological muscle flexibility, an achievement that earns a place in prestige. For example, South Korea sees Danuri not only as a means of collecting scientific measurement data, but also categorically as a first step towards a greater influence of the state in space.
In addition, all New Moon missions include plans for an actual unmanned surface landing, a feat far more complex than getting a probe into lunar orbit.
To date, only three countries have succeeded in making such a landing on the moon: the United States, the Soviet Union and China. All other attempts have failed, including recently. In 2019, for example, unmanned lunar landers from Israel and India were killed. The latter country is now preparing for a new attempt with the Chandrayaan-3 moon mission. Although it has recently postponed the launch: from August 2022 to early 2023.
Meanwhile, Japan is cultivating preference with its smart lunar exploration lander, scheduled for launch later this year. The country wants to deliver its car to the surface of the moon with an accuracy of centimeters. If successful, the moon landing will be the most accurate in human history.
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