[Photo by Chollian-2A Joint Press Corps]
South Korea’s first indigenous geostationary weather satellite, the Chollian-2A, successfully made initial contact with a ground station after being launched aboard an Arianespace vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana Wednesday morning, the government in Seoul said Wednesday.
The Ministry of Science and ICT and KARI said the satellite reached its transfer orbit about 25 minutes after the launch 5:37 a.m., followed by signals being received at the satellite station in Dongara, Australia, in about five minutes.
The multipurpose satellite developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) is one of two follow-up satellites to the Chollian-1, the country’s first geostationary satellite launched in June 2010. The launch comes seven and a half years after KARI began the development project with entirely local technology.
The Chollian-2A intended to enhance the country’s weather monitoring system will run test operations for six months before providing a weather information service from the second half of next year.
The Chollian-2A can provide images with four times higher resolution and is built with a greatly faster download speed, compared to its predecessor. While the first Chollian was designed for oceanography and meteorological observation, the Chollian-2A will focus on weather and climate observation, the ministry said.
By Won Ho-sup and Minu Kim
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