BTS On The Moon!
South Korea has launched its first lunar mission, officially joining the modern-day space race. The mission entails the delivery of the Danuri orbiter—an unmanned satellite that’ll circle sixty miles above the lunar surface, taking measurements of the moon’s natural resources and deep crevices where the surface temperature stays below 300 degrees Fahrenheit. But before Danuri gets to the moon, it has to complete a four month journey where it will travel towards the sun then slingshot back as it falls into lunar orbit—a lengthy but fuel efficient transit. Once it arrives, the team decided the best way to test the internet connection would be to stream a BTS music video.
The mission is the result of a collaboration between South Korea’s space agency KARI and the United State’s NASA, with the satellite being carried into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. But the South Korean agency has already done plenty on its own, with its successful launch of Nuri, a three-stage rocket, as well as maintaining a network of satellites in orbit.
Danuri’s launch further signals an escalation of the newly minted space race, with Japan, India, and China having also recently sent unmanned instruments to the moon. With so many looking moonward, we're sure to learn so much more about outer space in the coming years!