22 August 2006 – The South Korean Ministry of Science and Technology announced on August 21 it will launch its first satellite for meteorological observation into orbit in 2008. According to the ministry, South Korea plans to send a 2.5-ton satellite dedicated to maritime and weather observations into orbit of 36,000 km above the equator in December 2008.
The satellite will be equipped with a high-powered meteorological optical camera. It will help the country’s weather authorities to work more independently as South Korea’s weather forecasts are now relying on U.S. and Japanese satellites.
“The new satellite should offer great help, as it can provide weather information every five to seven minutes,” said Choi Sung- bong, official of the state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). South Korea will develop the satellite jointly with the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company’s branch in Toulouse, France, the Science Ministry said.