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Korean spacecraft sends back stunning images of the Earth and the Moon

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Danuri, South Korea’s first ever spacecraft to orbit the Moon, has sent back stunning images of the lunar surface and the Earth beyond.

The spacecraft – which has the official name of Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, but is healthier often called Danuri – left Earth on board a SpaceX rocket in August. It has been travelling towards the Moon ever since.

Last month, it arrived in lunar orbit. Since then it has been moving closer to the Moon’s surface, with the aim of gathering details about it.

That scientific mission will start next month. But recent images show the Earth rising out excessive of the Moon, in a perspective of our planet that is never seen.

(Korea Aerospace Research Institute)

The precise detail of the camera on board the lunar orbiter signifies that it is feasible to see the craters on the lunar surface from close-up, in addition to the vast size of Earth within the background.

The photographs are a test of the lunar orbiter, which itself is a significant test of South Korea’s plans to explore space.

Such images of the Moon will allow scientists to seek out a landing location for future exploration of the Moon’s surface by a follow-up mission that South Korea hopes will include a lunar lander.

The spacecraft will even be testing a variety of other technologies, including a “space web” system that enables for broadcast between different planets. Danuri has been beaming back images using that system, within the hope that it proves reliable enough for future missions.

It encompasses a range of various science instruments, each for taking images of the Moon in addition to examining it in other ways, akin to its magnetic field.

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