It’s been given the satellite catalog number 39026 and the international designator 12-072A — both identifications that help keep sorted the catalogs of satellites and junk in orbit around the planet.
Analysis of the current trajectory of the satellite provides some clues as to its launch. If you remember back in April, there was a lot of speculation about whether North Korean planned to have the third stage rocket make a dog-leg maneuver while heading into More >
The North American Aerospace Defense Command, better known as NORAD, says it tracked the North Korean rocket launch and that it appears to have placed an object in orbit.
Here’s the statement, issued out of Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, NORAD said:
North American Aerospace Defense Command officials acknowledged today that U.S. missile warning systems detected and tracked the launch of a North Korean missile at 7:49 p.m. EST. The missile was tracked on a southerly azimuth. Initial indications are that the first stage fell into the Yellow Sea. The second stage was assessed to fall into the Philippine Sea. Initial indications More >
North Korea’s state media has claimed success in its attempt to put a satellite in orbit.
Here’s the KCNA bulletin that ran just after noon local time:
The second version of satellite Kwangmyongsong-3 successfully lifted off from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province by carrier rocket Unha-3 on Wednesday.
The satellite entered its preset orbit. — KCNA, December 12, 2012.
And here’s the special news broadcast that went out on state TV at just before 12:05pm on Wednesday:
So much for delays, technical problems and bad weather. (And so much for satellite imagery analysis!) North Korea launched its rocket on Wednesday morning local time at a little before 10am in the morning, according to reports from regional governments.
The missile was launched from the Sohae-ri launch facility, according to an immediate report from the South Korean government.
The Japanese government said it flew over the Okinawan islands at around 10:01am and a rocket stage fell into the Pacific Ocean off the Philippines a few minutes later.
If right, it appears the rocket followed its planned flight path quite closely. The rocket’s More >
A NorthKoreaTech/38 North exclusive, with contributions by Nick Hansen and Michelle Kae
New GeoEye satellite imagery from December 10 shows activity at North Korea’s Sohae Satellite Launching Station (Tongchang-ri) related to the removal of the Unha rocket from the launch pad, a process that is probably still underway and will not be completed before December 12-13 at the earliest. (NorthKoreaTech/38 North believes South Korean press reports that the entire rocket had been removed to the assembly building for repairs as of December 11 were wrong.)
This conclusion is based on a number of considerations. First, imagery taken on December 8 and 10 More >
The latest satellite imagery of North Korea’s Sohae-ri Launch Facility is in from GeoEye and adds weight to possibility that weather is causing problems at the launch pad.
The image, taken earlier Monday, shows a blanket of snow covering most of the launch facility. Visible in some areas are vehicle tire tracks, indicating some movement, but some of the tracks appear to have been covered with an additional layer of snow, indicating repeated snowfall.
Last week the DPRK said it planned to launch a rocket between December 10 and 22nd, and on Sunday said the launch window would be extended until December More >
North Korea has extended the launch window for its Unha rocket, a day after saying they were looking to “readjust the launch timing.”
The rocket was originally scheduled to launch sometime in a two week window from December 10 and 22nd. The DPRK’s Korean Committee for Space Technology now say the launch window will run an extra week until December 29.
The news was announced in a statement carried by KCNA:
As already reported, scientists and technicians of the DPRK are pushing forward the preparations for the launch of the second version of Kwangmyongsong-3, a scientific and technological satellite, at a final phase.
They, however, More >
A week after North Korea signaled the world that it planned to attempt a second rocket launch this year, the country has signaled it may delay that launch.
The news came in a statement from the Korean Committee of Space Technology that was carried on Sunday by the state-run Korea Central News Agency,
As announced, we are making preparations for the launch of the second version of Kwangmyongsong-3, a scientific and technological satellite, at the final stage.
Our scientists and technicians, however, are now seriously examining the issue of readjusting the launching time of the satellite for some reasons. — KCNA, December 9, 2012.
While no More >
A joint NorthKoreaTech/38 North exclusive, with analysis by Nick Hansen.
North Korean preparations for a new rocket launch later this month appear to be proceeding more slowly than previously reported in the press according to analysis of commercial satellite imagery from December 4 and past DPRK test practices. Moreover, since this is Pyongyang’s first attempt to launch a long-range rocket in winter, weather may be a new factor that has already slowed the launch preparations.
Contrary to press reports that the three-stage Unha rocket had already been erected at the launch pad by December 5, the North may have had insufficient More >
It’s sadly not possible to get a live look at North Korea’s Sohae launch facility, but we do have the next best thing: a satellite image from earlier today.
The image was taken by a GeoEye satellite at 11:34am local time (0234 GMT) and shows dustings of snow across much of the launch facility. (As usual, click for a larger version of the image.)
Satellite images had previously shown increased activity at the site and suggested a launch was being planned, but it wasn’t until Saturday that North Korea made it official: the county will attempt to launch a Kwangmyongsong 3 satellite More >