S. Korea launches 2nd spy satellite via SpaceX Falcon 9

The satellite aims to enhance monitoring of North Korea, equipped with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors for all-weather data collection

Representative image of Falcon 9 launching the satellite  (@SpaceX/X)
Representative image of Falcon 9 launching the satellite (@SpaceX/X)


South Korea launched its second indigenous spy satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center in the US state of Florida on Monday (Seoul time), 8 April, according to the country's defence ministry.

The Falcon 9 lifted off at 8:17 a.m. (7:17 p.m. local time) from the John F. Kennedy Space Center and sent the reconnaissance satellite into orbit approximately 45 minutes after the launch, the ministry was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

"We will check whether the satellite normally operates through communication with overseas ground stations," the ministry said.

It is the second military satellite launched under South Korea's plan to acquire five spy satellites by 2025 to better monitor North Korea.

The satellite was equipped with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors that capture data using microwaves and are capable of collecting data regardless of weather conditions. The other three satellites will also be equipped with SAR sensors.

Electro-optical and infrared sensors capable of capturing detailed images of the Earth's surface were fitted on the first satellite launched in December.

When operated together, the five satellites are expected to provide regular coverage at about two-hour intervals, according to analysts.

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