South Korea’s First Spy Satellite Launched into Orbit by SpaceX Rocket

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South Korea Launches First Military Spy Satellite into Space

In a historic moment for South Korea, the country’s first military spy satellite has been successfully launched into orbit. The reconnaissance satellite, carried by one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets, lifted off from the Vandenberg US Space Force Base in California at 10.19am local time on Friday.

The satellite, which was emblazoned with the word “KOREA” across it, successfully reached orbit soon after the launch, according to reports from Yohnap news agency. This signifies a major advancement for South Korea in monitoring nuclear-armed North Korea.

Seoul’s plans do not stop here, as they aim to launch four additional spy satellites by the end of 2025 to bolster their reconnaissance capacity over the North. The newly launched satellite is set to orbit between 400km and 600km above Earth and is capable of detecting objects as small as 30cm.

Experts have noted that putting a working reconnaissance satellite into orbit would improve North Korea’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, particularly over South Korea, and provide crucial data in any potential military conflict.

The launch comes shortly after North Korea successfully put its own spy satellite into orbit, marking a significant advancement for the country. South Korea has previously relied heavily on US-run spy satellites for monitoring the North, but with this recent development, it has demonstrated its own technological capabilities in this area.

It is worth noting that the North’s launch of “Malligyong-1” was its third attempt at putting such a satellite into orbit, following two failed attempts in May and August.

As both South and North Korea escalate their space programs, the region is witnessing a new space race that has implications for national security and strategic intelligence gathering. The successful launch of South Korea’s military spy satellite is a clear indication of the country’s growing technological capabilities and its determination to assert itself in the space arena.

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