|Researchers and officials watch the launch of the Korea Augmentation Satellite System (KASS), the country's first satellite-based augmentation system, at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute in the central city of Daejeon, June 23. The launch took place at a space center in Kourou, French Guiana. Yonhap|
Korea successfully launched a precision aviation satellite Thursday to improve the accuracy and reliability of global positioning system (GPS) signals and better ensure flight safety, the government said.
The satellite for the Korea Augmentation Satellite System (KASS), the country's first precision GPS location augmentation system, was launched into orbit on a rocket that lifted off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou in French Guiana, at 6:50 a.m. Thursday (KST), according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
The satellite successfully separated from the rocket at around 7:18 a.m. after the fairing and first stage rocket separations.
Previously, Korea leased Malaysia's MEASAT-3d communication satellite for 15 years to operate KASS.
The system can improve the GPS position error to 1.0 to 1.6 meters from the current 15 to 33 meters in real time to ensure information reliability throughout the country.
The government plans to begin pilot services around December before starting full-fledged operations next year, according to the ministry.
Korea is the seventh country or entity to have a geosynchronous satellite system officially registered with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), after the United States, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia and China.
The country has been developing KASS since 2014 to meet international standards and suit the country's topography and environment, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute.
Researchers said they plan to develop aviation satellites with the country's own technology by 2035, pointing to the current heavy dependence on foreign input. (Yonhap)