South Korea’s first lunar orbiter Danuri started entering the orbit of the moon on Saturday, 135 days after its launch, the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said.

The unmanned space vehicle carried out its first lunar orbit insertion (LOI) manoeuvre as part of five rounds of such manoeuvres in the coming days for Danuri to be captured in the lunar orbit on December 29.

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In the first manoeuvre, KARI researchers used Danuri’s thrusters for about 13 minutes to slow its speed down from about 8,000 kilometres per hour to 7,500 kph.

The result will be announced on Monday after analysis. The second manoeuvre is planned for Wednesday, reports Yonhap news agency.

Danuri, also known as the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, was launched on August 5 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida for South Korea’s first lunar mission.

It has travelled a cumulative 5.94 million km so far.

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