The Jeuns

First nanosatellite launched by South Korea under the operation name “BTS”

April 24, 2024 | by The Jeuns

South Korea has achieved a significant milestone in its space technology development with the successful launch of its first homegrown nano-cluster satellite. The rocket carrying the satellite blasted off into the sky, releasing the satellite at an altitude of 500km just 50 minutes after liftoff.

Known as NEONSAT-1, this domestically developed earth observation nanosatellite is part of South Korea’s ambitious plan to establish a satellite constellation by 2027. The Ministry of Science and ICT made the announcement of the successful launch on April 24, marking a momentous occasion for the country.

NEONSAT-1 communicated with the ground station in Daejeon, South Chungcheong Province, confirming its operational status after circling the Earth twice. The satellite, less than 100 kilograms in weight with a resolution of 1 meter, is the first of 11 nanosatellites that will form the satellite constellation tasked with monitoring and capturing images of the Korean Peninsula and surrounding waters.

Named NEONSAT, which stands for New-space Earth Observation Satellite Constellation for National Safety, the launch project was dubbed “The Beginning of the Swarm” by the launch service provider Rocket Lab. Developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology for mass production, NEONSAT-1 is set to undergo tests of its performance and optical payload in orbit for a month, followed by quality checks on observation images for five months.

Upon completion of the inspection in November, the satellite is expected to commence its Earth observation missions, marking a new chapter in South Korea’s space exploration endeavors.

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