Nara Space’s nanosatellite conducts Earth observation mission

South Korea
Photo credit: Yonhap

South Korean space startup Nara Space Inc. said Monday its nanosatellite, Observer-1A, has successfully conducted a mission for Earth observation by capturing photos of major cities, including Busan and Dubai, Yonhap reports.

Observer-1A, South Korea's first commercial nanosatellite, was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California in November and successfully entered Earth's orbit.

The microsatellite, 20 centimeters in width and 40cm in height, was tasked to capture its first recording of Earth to monitor activities such as ship and car movements, as well as changes in forest areas.

South Korea
Photo credit: Yonhap

In the photos taken by the satellite, a harbor in South Korea's southeastern port city of Busan and ships floating on the nearby sea can be seen.

They also show Palm Jumeirah, an artificial offshore island in Dubai, and U.S. tech giant Apple Inc.'s ring-shaped headquarters in Cupertino, California.

The photos currently have a spatial resolution of 3 meters per pixel, but Nara Space plans to upgrade the resolution to up to 0.5 meter per pixel with artificial intelligence-based image correction technology.

South Korea
Photo credit: Yonhap

"The satellite can be used to analyze natural disasters to reduce damage, or crop situations of foreign countries to use the information for financial trades," Park Jae-pil, CEO of Nara Space, said.

"It can be also used to monitor travel of equipment in North Korea and destruction of nature's ecosystems due to climate change," he added.

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