The national space center announced Tuesday that South Korea’s first lunar orbiter, Danuri, has sent black-and-white photos of the Moon’s surface and Earth.
Danuri is a portmanteau of the Korean words for “Moon” and “enjoy.” It was launched from the United States on a SpaceX rocket in August 2022 and entered lunar orbit last month.
Its images were taken between December 24 and January 1. The images show the lunar surface and Earth from less than 120 kilometers (75 miles) above the Moon, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).
The images and videos will be “used to select potential sites for a Moon landing in 2032,” according to a press release.
According to the KARI, Danuri circles the Moon every two hours.
Next month, the orbiter will begin its scientific mission. It will include mapping and analyzing lunar terrain as well as measuring magnetic strength and gamma rays.
It will also put experimental “space internet” technology to the test by sending photos and videos back to Earth.
Danuri’s accomplishments have been hailed by President Yoon Suk-yeol as a “historical moment” in the country’s space program.
South Korea has ambitious space plans. These plans include landing spacecraft on the Moon by 2032 and Mars by 2045.