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SpaceX delays South Korean military satellite launch by a day


July 19 (UPI) — The launch of South Korea’s first dedicated military communications satellite, from Florida, has been postponed to Monday, SpaceX tweeted.

Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite had been planned for late Sunday afternoon from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

SpaceX did not immediately provide a time for the launch, although it likely could come between 5 p.m. and 8:55 p.m., according to the Spaceflight Now website.

Weather conditions on Monday are expected to be generally favorable, with a 30 percent chance of thick clouds and isolated showers that could delay the launch, according to U.S. Space Force forecasters.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX first delayed the launch Tuesday, with Musk posting on Twitter that the company was being extra cautious and checking everything thoroughly.

As a military project, few details about the satellite — ANASIS 2 — have been released. South Korea launched a similar satellite in 2013, but it didn’t deploy properly and was lost, said Kaitlyn Johnson, associate director at non-profit Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

“The South Korean military’s space program is nascent and very limited,” Johnson said. “This seems to be their first fully classified military satellite.”

Johnson said the satellite most likely will be positioned directly over the Korean Peninsula, providing secure communications for troops.


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