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It has been 55 years since Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders took an iconic image that would change humanity’s perception of our world forever. For the RT report.
And now, South Korea’s first lunar orbiter has done its best to simulate this Earthrise from the Moon with a series of stunning black-and-white images of our planet and its moon.
After orbiting the moon for just over a month, the South Korean spacecraft is now sending back breathtaking images of our rocky neighbor and our home planet as well.
Danuri, which is two Korean words “dal” meaning moon and “nuri” meaning enjoyment, according to NASA, was launched aboard a SpaceX rocket from the United States in August 2022, and the vehicle entered lunar orbit last month.
Since then, it has been sending amazing pictures of our planet and the surface of the moon, including those that have been published on the website of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute.
The images include a variety of lunar landscapes and a shot of the massive Earth rising above the lunar horizon.
There is also a time-lapse image of the Moon’s orbit around Earth, taken over a period of several hours
Danuri will begin its scientific mission next month, which will include mapping the moon, analyzing the lunar terrain, and measuring the magnetic force and gamma rays there.
The $180 million orbital vehicle will also test experimental “space internet” technology by sending images and videos back to Earth, which will then be used to identify potential sites for moon landings by South Korea in 2032.
On its way to lunar orbit, the Danuri spacecraft captured the moon’s procession around the Earth once a day for an entire month, starting on Sept. 15.
Ten days later, 15 pictures were taken over the course of about three hours, resulting in a beautiful composite image.
The spacecraft will orbit the Moon for 11 months, so we can expect to see more of these amazing images for the rest of this year.
South Korea has made ambitious plans for outer space, including landing spacecraft on Mars by 2045.
Danuri currently orbits the moon every two hours, and the spacecraft’s first images, taken between December 24 and January 1, show the surface of the moon and Earth.
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute said in a statement that it was captured from a distance of less than 120 km above the moon.
The 678kg spacecraft contains six science instruments, five of which are local and one, called ShadowCam, provided by NASA.
This will search for water ice in permanently shadowed lunar craters on the moon, and measurements from the magnetometer on the orbiter can also help scientists better understand the moon’s remaining magnetic field.
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