South Korea made contact with its first satellite, launched by a civilian space rocket seven weeks after North Korea sent its own satellite into orbit and amid signs the North’s regime is preparing a nuclear test.
The satellite transmitted information to the Satellite Technology Research Center for about 15 minutes from 3:28 a.m., Professor Lee In, head of the research center, said in a televised briefing today. Yesterday’s launch of the 33-meter (108-feet) KSLV-I Naro rocket, built using domestic and Russian technology, came after two failed attempts since 2009.
South Korea has spent about $500 million on the project, chasing a toehold in the space services market estimated to provide a 5.5 trillion won ($5 billion) boost to the economy. North Korea is threatening to conduct its third nuclear test in response to tighter United Nations sanctions imposed after its own long-range rocket launch last month.
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