Encyclopedia Astronautica
Kwangmyongsong


North Korean communications technology satellite. One launch, 1998.08.31. Payload of the first attempted North Korean satellite launch.

In the first attempted North Korean satellite launch it was claimed that the Kwangmyongsong was placed in an orbit of 218.82 km perigee and 6,978.2 km apogee. The satellite was said to be equipped with 'necessary sounding instruments' and to 'contribute to promoting scientific research for peaceful use of outer space'. The satellite was 'transmitting the melody of the immortal revolutionary hymns 'Song of General Kim Il Sung' and 'Song of General Kim Jong Il' and the Morse signals 'Juche Korea' in 27 MHz'. Despite these explicit details no evidence could be uncovered by Western intelligence agencies that the spacecraft had actually reached orbit.

This announcement was followed on September 14 by the release of a photograph of the satellite and the claim that the satellite had completed its 100th orbit of the earth between 08:24 and 11:17 local time (2017 GMT) on September 13. Video of the launch, the satellite, and an animation of the satellite in orbit around the earth were distributed to foreign news agencies the following weekend. The satellite appeared almost identical to the first Chinese test satellite (which itself appeared almost identical to the US Telstar).

First Launch: 1998.08.31.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Taepodong North Korean long-range ballitic missile and satellite launch vehicle consisted of a No-Dong 1 IRBM as the first stage, and a derivative of the Scud-C SRBM as the second stage. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Taepodong North Korean long-range ballistic missile and satellite launch vehicle consisted of a No-Dong 1 IRBM as the first stage, and a derivative of the Scud-C SRBM as the second stage. More...
  • Taepodong 1 North Korean orbital launch vehicle. The third stage for the satellite launch version was probably a small solid rocket engine. It failed to reach orbit in the 1998 launch attempt, and later such tests are believed to have used a different design. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Tarasenko, M, "Severnaya Koreya rvetsya v kosmos", Novosti kosmonavtiki, 1998, Issue 19/20, page 32.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Gitdaeryung North Korean intermediate missile base, south east of Wonson, said to be capable of launching Scud-C's, SCUD-X's and Nodong-A ballistic missiles. Known to have been used for 18 launches from 1984 to 2006, reaching up to 200 kilometers altitude. More...

Kwangmyongsong Chronology


1998 August 31 - . 03:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Gitdaeryung. LV Family: Taepodong. Launch Vehicle: Taepodong 1. FAILURE: Third stage failure.. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Kwangmyongsong 1 - . Nation: Korea North. Agency: Choson. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: Kwangmyongsong. COSPAR: F980831A. North Korea reported the launch of its first satellite on the first of September. This announcement was followed on September 14 by the release of a photograph of the satellite and the claim that the satellite had completed its 100th orbit of the earth between 08:24 and 11:17 local time (2017 GMT) on September 13. Video of the launch, the satellite, and an animation of the satellite in orbit around the earth were distributed to foreign news agencies the following weekend. The satellite appeared almost identical to the first Chinese test satellite (which itself appeared almost identical to the US Telstar).

    Despite these claims no foreign observer ever detected the satellite visually, by radar, or picked up its radio signals. The Pentagon at first claimed it was an ICBM launch, and that the satellite story was just a cover for the test. However on further analysis of the data collected on the launch they admitted nearly a month later that there had been some a satellite launch attempt. What seems to have happened is that the third stage either failed and fell into the Pacific or misfired and put the satellite into a low orbit where it decayed very quickly before it could be detected by foreign observers. Additional Details: here....


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