|The Earth, left, and the moon are seen in this photograph taken by the Korean lunar orbiter Danuri, Nov. 28, and provided by the Ministry of Science and ICT. Yonhap|
Korea's first lunar orbiter Danuri started maneuvers to enter an orbit of the moon Saturday, 135 days after its launch, according to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI).
The unmanned space vehicle carried out its first lunar orbit insertion (LOI) maneuver at 2:45 a.m., KARI said, as part of five such maneuvers in the coming days for Danuri to enter a lunar orbit, Dec. 29.
In the first maneuver, KARI researchers used Danuri's thrusters for about 13 minutes to slow its speed down from about 8,000 kilometers per hour to 7,500 kph. The result will be announced Monday after analysis.
The second maneuver is planned for Wednesday.
Danuri, also known as the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, was launched Aug. 5 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and is South Korea's first lunar mission. It has traveled a cumulative 5.94 million km so far. (Yonhap)