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S. Korean satellite in operation after successful launch from U.S. air base Updated: 2018-12-04 18:07:12 KST

The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Monday at around 10:30 AM local time.
About eight minutes after launch, the first stage of the rocket safely landed back on the drone ship.

With that, U.S. aerospace manufacturer SpaceX successfully completed its mission to deploy 64 satellites into Earth's orbit, including South Korea's 'Next Sat-1'.

It has been confirmed by Seoul's Ministry of Science and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology that the country's satellite successfully entered its orbital altitude and was in full operation about six and a half hours after the launch.

South Korea's satellite was developed by the KAIST from 2012 to 2018. It will measure space radiation and keep track of stars' infrared rays for the next two years. Currently, South Korea operates four satellites for Earth and weather observation.

What's especially remarkable about Monday's launch is that it was the third time SpaceX has reused the Falcon 9.
Most rockets are discarded after they have been used once.
It's also the most satellites ever taken on a single launch from U.S. soil.

But the path to success was far from smooth.
It was first delayed when SpaceX extended an inspection of its rocket, and the launch was also postponed multiple times due to bad weather conditions.

The rocket carried 15 microsatellites and 49 cube satellites from private entities and governments, including 25 from international organizations.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News.
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