The Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), or Danuri, successfully rocketed off the pad at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle shortly after 7 p.m. EST. The launch went off without issues, and the spacecraft was successfully separated from the launch vehicle upper stage approximately 40 minutes later. Over the next few hours, the KPLO solar panels were deployed, ShadowCam temperatures were as expected, and the trajectory was nominal. The next trajectory correction burn is currently scheduled for 7 August.
The ShadowCam team was present to watch in awe as the speeding rocket thundered through the sky, arcing out over the Atlantic ocean. The team is excited for our first images, expected in early January, 2023.
Thanks to KARI, Space X, NASA, Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS), and Arizona State University (ASU) for their support. We look forward to future collaboration during the mission.
Posted by Rick Hoppe on 6 August 2022