Launch Spotlight: KPLO – SpaceX set to launch Danuri, the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter

SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 from SLC-40 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on August 4, 2022, at 7:08 p.m. EDT. This launch will carry the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), which is officially named Danuri, to a 100km Polar Lunar Orbit.

Launch Overview

Launch Date: August 4, 2022, 7:08 p.m. EDT

Payload: Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO, Danuri)

Rocket: Falcon 9 (B1052-6)

Launch Pad: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

Destination: 100km Polar Lunar Orbit

Landing Site: Just Read The Instructions, Atlantic Ocean


The Mission

SpaceX is set to launch the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), which is officially named Danuri, to a 100km Polar Lunar Orbit. The goal of this mission is to prove out the orbiter vehicle, science payload, and ground control infrastructure while also surveying lunar resources such as water, ice, uranium, helium-3, silicon, and aluminum. Topographic maps will also be created to help aid in future landing site decisions.


What is the Falcon 9?

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is the workhorse of commercial launches into Earth orbit. Nine Merlin engines power the partially reusable rocket on the first stage and a single vacuum optimized Merlin on the second stage. The Falcon 9 has launched a total of 166 times with a 98% success rate, making it a highly trusted vehicle among the commercial, scientific, and defense sectors.


The Booster

B1052-6 will be launching the KPLO mission. This will be the sixth mission for this Falcon 9 booster.

B1052 Flight Log

  • Arabsat-6A (FH Side Booster)
  • STP-2 (FH Side Booster)
  • CSG-2
  • Starlink Group 4-10
  • Starlink Group 4-18

The Weather

August 4, 2022

  • 80% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Cumulus Clouds
  • Risk(s):
    • All Risks Low

24-hour Delay

  • 80% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Cumulus Clouds
  • Risk(s):
    • All Risks Low

Last Updated: August 4, 2022, 6:00 p.m. EDT


Where to watch?

You can find coverage of Wednesday’s launch on SpaceX’s YouTube channel. The live stream will usually go live about 15 minutes before liftoff and will offer the best views of the launch.

Featured Image: KPLO – Derek Wise for SpaceExplored.com

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