Space: South Korean Spy Sat Disappears


January 9, 2008: After eight years of operation, South Korea lost communication (on the last day of 2007) with its first space satellite; Arirang-1. Or, as it was commonly described, Arirang-1 had disappeared. This bird was only expected to last three years, but until the commo malfunction, it continued to perform. Its cameras only have a 6.5 meter resolution (the latest U.S. spy sats are a thousand times more detailed). In 2006, a second satellite, Arirang-2, was launched, and it had a resolution of one meter. Arirang-1 circles the globe about 14 times a day at an altitude of 685 kilometers. Most likely, Arirang-1 just got old and died, probably from a power system failure. It will probably be declared lost, if communications cannot be restored soon.

South Korea teamed with Israeli firms to develop the cameras for the Arirang series of satellites. South Korea plans to launch a dozen or more additional satellites up in the next two years. South Korea uses Russian launchers to put its satellites into orbit.


Article Archive

Space: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close