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South Korea launches high resolution satellite Arirang-2, will provide visual data of North Korea three times a day

Moscow, Russia, 28 July 2006: Rockot, the Russian rocket containing the Arirang-2, a multi-purpose Korean satellite – lifted off from a launch pad at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 800 kilometers northeast of Moscow, on July 28. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) that developed Arirang-2 said the three-stage rocket took off at 4:05 p.m. (Korean Time) as planned.

The rocket, converted from an intercontinental ballistic missile, is designed to travel to the sky in roughly 55 minutes to deploy the multi-sensing satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 685 kilometers.

A multi-spectral camera (MSC) embedded in Airrang-2 will provide high-resolution images for Earth mapping, which can be utilized for geographical surveys, environmental observation and natural resource searches.

Also included in its functions is airborne surveillance, possibly on North Korea, as the high-definition MSC will be able to give visual data on the unpredictable communist country’s launch preparations or other military activities three times a day.

The camera can identify an object one meter in diameter at the high altitude. Only a handful of countries like the United States, Russia, France, Japan and Israel have satellite-based cameras as powerful.