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Fourth Korean Satellite to Launch in July

Posted February. 21, 2006 02:59,   


Korea’s fourth commercial and first military satellite, named, “Mugunghwa No. 5,” will be launched from the Pacific Ocean at the end of July.

This will be the first time a Korean satellite will be launched from the ocean. A total of 22 other ocean satellite launches have taken place.

Korea Telecom (KT) announced Monday that it decided to launch the satellite from the ocean instead of from land after taking safety, environmental impact, international law, and territory issues into consideration.

Mugunghwa No. 5 will be launched into orbit 36,000 km above ground from a large vessel on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean south of Hawaii.

KT public relations manager Lee Jang-se said, “Mugunghwa No. 2, launched in 1994, will be dead in July. That is why we will launch No. 5, following No. 3. ‘Number 4’ designated satellites are not launched for customary reasons, so we skipped No. 4 and named this one ‘No.5.’”

The launch site is 12 hours away from Hawaii by barge, near the equator.

According to reports, an ocean launch was chosen because launching from the sea near the equator costs nearly 30 percent less than a comparable land launch.

Mugunghwa No. 5 will provide commercial telecommunications and broadcast services as well as telecommunications services for military use.

Mugunghwa No. 3 was launched in September 1999 in French Guiana, which is north of Brazil in South America.

Young-Hae Choi yhchoi65@donga.com