South Korea to launch lunar probe

South Korea will launch its first lunar probe in 2020, joining an intensifying Asian space race after recent missions to the moon by China and Japan, the government has said.

The plan is part of the government’s Space Development Roadmap that also aims to put a satellite into orbit on a rocket to be developed from homegrown technology by 2017, the Science and Technology Ministry said.

A second lunar probe, which would land on the moon – unlike the first one that would only orbit the moon – is to be launched in 2025.

The announcement came after Japan launched a lunar probe in September and China last month, heating up the space rivalry in Asia. India was planning to send a lunar probe into space in April.

Source:  The Press Association

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