DANURI has recently sent back a series of black-and-white photographs of the Moon’s surface and the Earth in the background.
South Korea is one of the world’s youngest nations and yet it has managed to advance in every way. In the scientific arena, the Asian nation recently reached a milestone by successfully launching its first mission to the Moon, dubbed by the South Korean Ministry of Science as DANURI.
Following its launch in August, the lunar orbiter has recently sent back a series of black-and-white photographs of the Moon’s surface and the Earth in the background. With this, South Korea allows us to observe what our planet looks like from the Moon; plus, being in black and white, they give us a completely different and amazing feeling.
DANURI: South Korean Lunar Mission
DANURI is an acronym of the Korean words for ‘moon’ (달) and ‘enjoy’ (누리다), so we can define DANURI as “enjoy the moon.” According to the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), DANURI circles the Moon every two hours, so we can say it is really enjoying it.
The KPLO spacecraft, as it is known in the West, will work on scientific operations on the Moon for a year, to develop new lunar exploration technologies. It also seeks to demonstrate the “space internet” with which it will be able to transmit photos and videos to Earth. Among its goals, is also to research the environment, topography, magnetic force, gamma rays, and lunar resources, as well as to identify possible landing sites for future missions to the Moon.
According to NASA; we can summarize these goals in three main ones:
What the Earth Looks Like from the Moon
To meet its goals, DANURI carries with it a NASA camera. ShadowCam will allow it to capture the brightness within permanently shadowed regions for evidence of frost or ice deposition. The instrument’s optical camera is based on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Narrow Angle Camera, making it capable of detecting seasonal changes and measuring terrain inside craters, including the distribution of boulders.
These images were taken between December 24 and January 1, and in them, we can observe the Moon’s and Earth’s surfaces. According to KARI, these images were taken less than 120 kilometers above the Moon and will be used to select possible sites for a lunar landing in 2032.
DANURI’s achievement has been described and praised as a historic moment by Yoon Suk-year, South Korea’s president of the country’s space program. South Korea continues to plan outer space missions, which include landing spacecraft on the Moon by 2032 and Mars by 2045. Not to mention that this year will see the launch of the beginning of the relationship between South Korea and SpaceX.
Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera