S.Korea’s first spy satellite set to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base

South Korea
Photo credit: Yonhap

South Korea's first homegrown spy satellite will be launched from U.S. Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Friday (local time) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the defense ministry said, Yonhap reports.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was erected vertically on the launch pad at the base, as seen in a photo released on the U.S. aerospace company's homepage.

The launch was initially planned for Nov. 30 but was delayed by two days due to bad weather.

According to SpaceX, the Falcon 9 is scheduled to lift off at 10:19 a.m. Friday and separate the first and second stage rockets 2 minutes and 22 seconds after the launch. It will separate the fairing, a protective covering for the payload, 19 seconds later.

If the satellite successfully enters orbit, it is expected to communicate with a ground station later in the day.

Beginning with the electro-optical and infrared satellite, South Korea plans to launch four more synthetic aperture radar satellites by 2025 to better monitor North Korea.

The upcoming launch comes after North Korea placed its first spy satellite in orbit on Nov. 21, following two failed attempts earlier this year.

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