South Korea has announced that KOMPSAT-6 will be launched using the European carrier Vega C. Earlier, this spacecraft was planned to be launched with the help of a Russian Angara rocket, but these plans were canceled due to the war in Ukraine.
South Korea to launch satellite using Vega C
South Korea’s deputy Science Minister Oh Tae-seog announced on February 1 that his country was going to use the European Vega C carrier to launch its KOMPSAT-6 satellite. The European Space Agency recently stated that it was experiencing some difficulties with this rocket after the accident in December, but representatives of this Asian country believed in it.
KOMPSAT-6 is the second SAR satellite in the history of South Korea. The synthesized aperture radar allows to obtain images of the surface day and night and in any weather. It is planned that within 5 years it will be able to supply users with images with an accuracy of 0.5 m per pixel.
South Korea and Russia
The country launched the first such satellite, KOMPSAT-5, back in 2013. Then it was launched into orbit by the Ukrainian rocket Dnepr-1, which was launched from the Yasny launch pad in the Orenburg region of Russia. This time it was planned to use the Angara rocket and the Plesetsk cosmodrome for the launch. The launch was supposed to take place in November 2022.
But over time it became clear that the sanctions related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine played a role and the aggressor country was simply unable to launch the Angara. Therefore, in December, South Korea officially terminated the contract, but stated that it would not demand compensation due to the delay.
Satellites awaiting launch
KOMPSAT-6 is not the only South Korean satellite that has had trouble with Russian carriers. The launch of two more missions was postponed for the same reason. The first of them is the CAS500–2 remote sensing satellite. It was planned to be launched on a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in the first half of 2022.
At the same time, the second mission, SNIPE, was supposed to start. It consists of four small satellites designed to study the Earth’s magnetosphere and anomalies in it. Back in October last year, it was decided that their country would launch on its own on a KSLV-2 rocket.
But there is still uncertainty about the future of the CAS500-2. It is expected that it will be launched on some foreign carrier. However, the decision regarding which rocket it will be is postponed until March.
According to spacenews.com
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