Beacon signals from the Science and Technology Satellite 3 (STSAT-3) were picked up by Norway’s Svalbard Satellite Station 87 minutes after the satellite blasted off from Russia’s Yasny Launch Base at 1:10 pm on November 21 (local time), said officials from the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).
The successful deployment of Korea’s sixth satellite STSAT-3 was confirmed when it established radio communication with the ground station in Daejeon, Korea at 4:10 pm (Korea time) in six hours after lift-off.
The satellite was launched using Russia’s Dnepr, a ballistic missile-turned space launch vehicle. The STSAT-3 arrived at the launch base on October 24.
STSAT-3 is Korea’s first satellite equipped with infrared radar that can detect changes in temperature on both the surface and underground, and enables monitoring geological activities such as volcanoes and earthquakes. It works together with the Korea Multipurpose Satellite-5 (KOMPSAT-5) that was the country’s first satellite equipped with synthetic aperture radar enabling 24-hour surveillance of the earth’s surface, regardless of weather conditions. The two satellites will also allow detection of any environmental or physical changes on the Korean Peninsula and its surrounding seas.
The STSAT-3 is designed to orbit the earth once every 97 minutes at an altitude of 600 kilometers. It has an operational lifespan of two years.