Good evening, we start with the Danuri launch this evening,
South Korea now has a spacecraft en route to the moon.
Its first lunar orbiter, Danuri, was successfully launched just hours ago from Cape Canaveral, Florida on board a SpaceX rocket.
There are still a few steps left before it's on its final lunar trajectory, but then it'll be on course to arrive at the Moon later this year.
Shin Ye-eun starts us off.
August 5th is now a historic day for South Korea.
Particularly for its deep space exploration, as its first homegrown lunar orbiter, Danuri has successfully blasted off to space.
"Danuri successfully separated from its carrier rocket at around 8:48 am.
It's now on its way to lunar orbit.
I'm very glad that South Korea has successfully made its first step toward the moon."
And this is how it all happened.
Danuri's journey began with the launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
At exactly 8:08 AM, Korea timeit soared up to the sky on board SpaceX's Falcon 9 carrier rocket.
Then at around 9 AM, officials said it made it 1-thousand 6-hundred 55 kilometers away from earth.
That's where it separated from the rocket it was attached to.
It detached at speeds of 10.1-5 kilometers per second at an altitude of 7-hundred 3 kilometers.
Then, at around 9:40 AM, researchers at Korea Aerospace Research Institute heard some great news.
Danuri reportedly made contact with NASA's deep space antenna in Canberra Australia.
It had opened its solar panels for the power needed to send a signal to the ground station on Earth.
The connection was made successfully, so now we're heading for the third stage which will happen overnight.
The ground station will position Danuri so that it faces antennas on Earth.
They will also be activating different devices on the orbiter.
Then on Sunday, it will be getting ready to enter a trajectory that will take it to its target orbit.
It will take some time though.
We'll have to wait another four months before it actually gets near the moon.
By December 16th, Danuri will finally enter lunar orbit.
It will go in circles around the moon until it reaches an orbit of 100 kilometers above the lunar surface.
Officials believe it will be around late December when the KPLO reaches this point and is then ready to conduct a range of studies for a whole year.
Shin Ye-eun, Arirang News.