The principal satellite of South Korea has effectively entered orbit and made multiple communications with ground stations, according to the country’s science ministry.
Yonhap News Agency reported that NEXTSAT-2 was launched from South Korea’s indigenous space rocket Nuri on Thursday evening, followed by seven microsatellites at 20-second intervals.
King Sejong Station in Antarctica received the first signal from NEXTSAT-2 at 7:07 p.m. on Thursday, and a ground station in Daejeon, South Korea communicated with the satellite approximately 50 minutes later, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT on Friday.
On Friday morning, NEXTSAT-2 communicated seven times with the Daejeon station and other overseas posts, according to the ministry.
Power generation, data processing, and other satellite operations are working.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s (KAIST) 180-kilogram NEXTSAT-2 satellite will demonstrate X-band radar technology and measure space radiation for the next two years in a dawn-dusk orbit.
Two of the four microsatellites created by the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, designated SNIPE, have communicated with ground stations since their launch last night, according to the ministry.
The ministry previously verified that three of the four SNIPE satellites were launched from Nuri, but the status of the fourth satellite is uncertain.
Two of the remaining three, the JAC by the Korean engineering firm Justek, the LUMIR-T1 by the local space company Lumir, and the KSAT3U by the startup Kairospace, have communicated with ground stations.
The ministry stated that it will make continual attempts to make contact with the three satellites that have been incommunicado.