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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

North Korean Satellite "Tumbles Out of Control" Tracking Data Analysis Indicates

The satellite launched by the People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) appears to be "tumbling out of control" in an attempt to place an space object into a polar orbit around the Earth, American officials told NBCNews.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang claimed the Unha-3 rocket successfully delivered a scientific satellite into orbit known as Kwangmyongsong-3. 'Kwangmyongsong' means 'lodestar' or 'star of hope' and is believed to be a reference to former leader Kim Jong Il. The satellite may be tracked in real time.
The Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite has been given the satellite catalog number (NORAD Code) 39026 and the international designator code 12-072A — both identifications that help keep sorted the catalogs of satellites and junk in orbit around the planet. The satellite is soaring approximately 350 miles above Earth, moving at a rate of 4.7 miles per second. The satellite has a reported orbital period of 96 minutes.

The "out of control" satellite now poses a collision risk to other satellites in low earth orbit. The US Strategic Command tracks small pieces of debris, but space crashes generate particles that may not be tracked. The thousands of objects that may result from such an accident put other satellites, spaceships and the life of astronauts at risk. Kwangmyongsong-3 adds more to track among the 500,000 to 600,000 estimated now in orbit.

Following the success of the latest launch, North Korean motor vehicles with loudspeakers drove through Pyongyang streets to announce the “momentous event”. An official statement said that North Korea had exercised the “independent right to use space for peaceful purposes” by placing a satellite into an orbit that will take it over both poles, reported The Telegraph.  The UN Security Council demurrers citing a violation of two UN Security Council resolutions.

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